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Full text of "The history of American sculpture"

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THE HISTORY OF ERIC. 



INTRODUCTION 

more composite nation than the United States has exist 
lern times. The influx of foreign elements has been enorm- 
yet, despite the varied antecedents and the wide affinities 
American people, our language remains English 

:h as exist), are and always have been English. I 
religion and law, the inheritance was adequate, 
pies were readily harmonized with 
literature, likewise, the ancestral 
potent; but in regard t 
though not less 
unpromising 

En: ;as alwa) 

but until c< her native prodi 

eedingb < nimport; 

at the tir~: Ln colonies were 

making, it may be said that British sculpture d 
And thus it came about that our ancestors here ii 
: -out sculptural tradition. Not only this, but in 
they were of a humble class — working 
even the allied arts — and often, with the p 
ibuting the arts one and all to the in 
im Fathers were the elder brothers of tl 
the cathedral statua burned 

Wen their n 

of tears, .iuiSTAit^- 
-AOIHO .HJOOHIJ MAHAflSA :8H3QUAO'TM: 









PLATE I. 
SAINT GAUDENS: ABRAHAM LINCOLN, CHICAGO. 






THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



INTRODUCTION 

No more composite nation than the United States has existed in 
modern times. The influx of foreign elements has been enormous; 
yet, despite the varied antecedents and the wide affinities of the 
American people, our language remains English and our traditions 
(such as exist) are and always have been English. In matters of 
religion and law, the inheritance was adequate, and familiar princi- 
ples were readily harmonized with a new environment. In our 
literature, likewise, the ancestral traditions have been positive and 
potent ; but in regard to the other fine arts they have been negative, 
though not less significant, since they explain, in large measure, the 
unpromising conditions amid which our national art was cradled. 

England's patronage of foreign artists has always been liberal, 
but until comparatively recent times her native production has been 
exceedingly meagre. If British painting was unimportant in Eng- 
land at the time when the American colonies were in process of 
making, it may be said that British sculpture did not exist at all. 
And thus it came about that our ancestors here in America were 
without sculptural tradition. Not only this, but in large measure 
they were of a humble class — working people unacquainted with 
even the allied arts — and often, with the prejudice of ignorance, 
attributing the arts one and all to the invention of the devil. The 
Pilgrim Fathers were the elder brothers of those men who decapi- 
tated the cathedral statuary, who burned paintings and tabooed the 
drama. Even their music was of an unhappy sort. This world was 
to them a vale of tears, and art was a temptation to be strenuously 
resisted. 



4 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

It is not surprising, then, that stock of this character transplanted 
to an unsettled and inhospitable shore should have been practically 
immune from artistic inspirations ; that painting should not have 
come into vogue for many a long year, and that two whole centuries 
were to elapse before sculpture should make a shy appearance. It 
may be urged that the Virginian colonies were made up of different 
material ; that the cavaliers and adventurers who founded James- 
town were to some extent men of culture and luxury. To this fact 
may be attributed the earliest patronage of sculpture in America — 
the commissions given by Virginia to Houdon in 17S1 and 1785 
for representations of Lafayette and of Washington ; but beyond 
this we find no appreciable results, since native production in the 
South came even later than in the North. 

The Quakers who followed in Pennsylvania were hardly more 
favorable to the fine arts than were their brothers of New England, 
and although some of our best artists are of Quaker descent, there 
was nothing to encourage plastic expression in Philadelphia until 
recent times. The early Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam came 
direct from the land where Rembrandt and Franz Hals were even 
then producing their masterpieces; but there was neither a Rem- 
brandt nor a Hals among them, nor by any possibility a sculptor, 
since the artistic expression of the Hollanders has always been pic- 
torial rather than plastic. 

So this broad land lay in the sun and waited — waited without 
knowing it for the day of art to appear. Meanwhile, to be sure, 
there was something else to be done. Six days of arduous toil every 
week, grubbing and ploughing and building; weaving and baking 
and brewing; and then the abrupt pause of the Sabbath, bringing 
with its inevitable recurrence a sort of rhythm into the patient lives 
of these plain men and women. The preachers did their share of 
work, like the others, and despite their long-drawn-out sermons, found 
time for writing chronicles and tracts, and even hymns of question- 
able rhyme and metre. By the time these had given way in part to 
political pamphlets, painting had made its appearance here and there. 
Benjamin West's triumphs in England lent a glamour to the craft, 
and Copley and Gilbert Stuart successively produced their admirable 
portraits in Boston and elsewhere. But as yet no sculpture appeared. 



INTRODUCTION 



-2-OS 



%l)t pstorp of £merfcan art 

(EDttcti bv Hlohu C. iSan EDpfec 



THE HISTORY OF 



AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



• 



BY 

LORADO TAFT 

MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL SCULPTURE SOCIETY 



WITH TWELVE FULL-PAGE PHOTOGRAVURES AND ONE HUN- 
DRED AND FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT 




Ncto gorfc 
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., Ltd. 
1903 

All rights reserved 



Copyright, 1903, 
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. 



Set up, electrotyped, and published November, 1903. 



Norwood. Press 

J. S. Ousting fef Co. — Berwick & Smith Co. 

Norwood, Mass., U.S.A. 



THE HISTORY OF 

AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



2Tj)C history of American 3rt 

3£oitrb bo 3ofjn (£. Uan Soke 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE. By Lo- 
rado Taft, Member of the National Sculpture Society. 
With 12 photogravures and many text illustrations. Imp. 
Svo. 

THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN MUSIC. By Louis C. 
Elson, Musical Editor of the Boston Advertiser ; author of 
"Our National Music," etc. With 12 photogravures and 
many text illustrations. Imp. Svo. Nearly ready. 

THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN PAINTING. By Samuel 
Isham, Member of the Society of American Artists. With 
12 photogravures and many text illustrations. Imp. Svo. 

In preparation. 

THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN ETCHING, ENGRAV- 
ING. AND ILLUSTRATION. By Joseph Pennell, 
author of " Pen and Ink Draughtsmen," " Modern Illustra- 
tion," etc. Illustrated with original materials. Imp. Svo. 

In preparation. 



EDITOR'S NOTE 

This series of books brings together for the first time the 
materials for a history of American Art. Heretofore there have 
been attempts to narrate some special period or feature of our 
artistic development, but the narrative has never. been consecutive 
or conclusive. The present volumes begin with the founding of the 
nation, and carry the record clown to the year 1904. They are 
intended to cover the graphic, the plastic, the illustrative, the 
architectural, the musical, and the dramatic arts, and to sum up 
the results in each department historically and critically. That the 
critical summary should be authoritative, the preparation of each 
volume has been placed in the hands of an expert — one who prac- 
tises the craft whereof he writes. The series is therefore a history 
of American Art written from the artist's point of view, and should 
have special value for that reason. 

The " History of American Sculpture " is the initial volume of 
the series. The writer of it makes acknowledgment for help 
received from many sources ; but the editor of the series thinks it 
proper to say that the great bulk of the volume is original material 
gathered at first hand and here presented for the first time. 

November, 1903. 



CONTENTS 



PART I 



THE BEGINNINGS 



Introduction 



CHAPTER 
I. 
II. 
III. 

IV. 

V. 

VI. 



Early Efforts in Sculpture 

Greenough and his Times .... 

Hiram Powers and the •• Greek Slave " 

Crawford and Sculpture at the Capitol . 

Some Minor Sculptors of the Early Days 

The Native Element in Early American Sculpture 



PAGE 
I 



15 

37 
57 
72 
92 
114 



PART II 

MIDDLE PERIOD 

VII. Palmer and Ball 131 

VIII. Story and Randolph Rogers 150 

IX. Rinehart and John Rogers 171 

X. Other Sculptors born before 1830 1S7 

XI. Harriet Hosmer and the Early Women Sculptors . . . . 203 

XII. John Quincy Adams Ward 216 

XIII. A Group of Builders of Monuments 234 

XIV. New Influences 256 



PART III 

CONTEMPORARY MEN 

XV. Augustus Saint Gaudens 279 

XVI. Augustus Saint Gaudens {continued) 294 

XVII. Daniel C. French 310 

XVIII. Frederick MacMonnies . • 332 

XIX. George Grey Barnard 356 

XX. Bartlett and Adams 373 

XXI. NlEHAUS AND BOYLE 394 

XXII. Other New York Sculptors 411 

XXIII. The Younger Generation in New York 437 

XXIV. Decorative Sculptors and Men of Foreign Birth .... 452 
XXV. Sculptors of Animals 470 

XXVI. Present-day Sculptors of Boston and Philadelphia . . . 489 

XXVII. Sculptors of the South and West; Conclusion . . . . 51S 

vii 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN TEXT 



xm 



FIGURE 


7 S. 


Martiny. 


79- 


" 


So. 


Bitter. 


Si. 




82. 


Konti. 


83- 


Kemeys. 


84. 


Potter. 


85. 




86. 


Proctor. 


87. 


tt 


SS. 


BORGLUM. 


89. 


a 


90. 


KlTSON. 


91. 


Pratt. 


92. 


tt 


93- 


Dallin. 


94- 


Brooks. 


95- 


Grafly. 


96. 


tt 


97- 


" 


98. 


Stewardson 


99. 


Barnhorn. 


100. 


DUVENECK. 


IOI. 


Mulligan. 


102. 


Bringhurst. 


103. 


TlLDEN. 


104. 


tt 



Fountain of Abundance 










453 


Victory ..... 








455 


Standard Bearer 










458 


Villard Memorial 










461 


Sacred Music .... 










466 


Panther and Cubs 










471 


Farm Horse .... 










473 


Sleeping Faun .... 










476 


Indian Warrior .... 










479 


Striding Panther 










4S2 


On the Border of White Man's Land 










485 


Burial on the Plains . 










487 


Music of the Sea 










490 


Bishop Brooks .... 










492 


Butler Memorial 










495 


The Medicine Man 










497 


Colonel Thomas Cass 










5°3 


Symbol of Life .... 










506 


Truth 










509 


Fragment of Fountain of Man 










512 


The Bather .... 










5 [ 5 


Magdalen ..... 










520 


Tomb of Mrs. Duveneck 










523 


Miner and Child 










525 


The Kiss of Eternity . 










52S 


Football Players 










53i 


Mechanics' Fountain . 










535 



INTRODUCTION 5 

A few works of art had been imported into the country during 
this period, and some of the more elegant homes, like Mount Vernon, 
even boasted of marble reliefs brought from Italy. Houdon and 
other foreign sculptors came and went; but until the third decade of 
the nineteenth century there was no native sculpture other than the 
wax reliefs of Patience Wright, the wood-carvings of William Rush, 
and the unrelated efforts of Hezekiah Augur. Our first professional 
sculptor was born in 1805. Thus the record of the glyptic art in 
the United States is practically bounded by the short span of a 
single century. In other countries the chronicle of the last hun- 
dred years is but a fragment, a brief sequel to the story of ages 
of endeavor. It is difficult to realize that our actual achievement 
from the very kindergarten stage of an unknown art to the proud 
position held by American sculpture in the Paris Exposition of 1900 
has been the work of threescore years and ten — has been seen in 
its entirety by not a few men now living. 

As beginners seldom attempt groups, but work timidly on single 
figures, so the beginnings of American sculpture are discovered in 
isolated workers appearing here and there in most unexpected locali- 
ties: Rush in Philadelphia; Augur in New Haven; Frazee in New 
Jersey. Then, with the opening years of the last century, came the 
first Americans destined to make sculpture a profession: Greenough in 
Boston, Crawford in New York, Powers in Cincinnati. One is re- 
minded of the first adventurous flowers of early spring peeping out 
inquiringly from sheltered nooks, but soon to be reenforced by a host 
of companions. To-day our sculptors thrive in groups; the isolated 
practitioners of the art are few. 

Almost without exception these sculptors of the first half of the 
century were animated by a single desire, — to get to Italy as soon 
as possible. The reasons for this are not far to seek. Their own 
country afforded neither sculptural instruction nor examples. Those 
who went abroad remained there ; hence no returning current of 
helpful knowledge and counsel came to aid those left behind. Nor 
was there even the privilege of study from nature. The Puritan 
horror of the " flesh " made the introduction of life classes very 
difficult. As late as 1870 a sculptor's opportunity for study 
in Boston was limited to Dr. Rimmer's lectures on anatomy ; in 



6 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

1876 a model posed one evening in the week at the Lowell 
Institute. 

While paintings were to be met with in the homes of wealth and 
in the growing art collections, works of sculpture were still extremely 
rare. A few casts from the antique, brought over from Paris and 
exhibited in Philadelphia about 1845, are said to have caused a 
grave scandal. The initial collection of the National Academy of 
Design remained boxed for several years, but was on view in 1820 
and thereafter. The condition, so far as concerned sculpture, was 
in most cities what it is to-day in the smaller towns of the West 
and the South, excepting for the important difference that seventy- 
five years ago there were no photographs and no popular illustrated 
magazines to familiarize the public with current works of art. Steel 
engravings were to be found in rare and expensive volumes, and 
rude woodcuts in cheaper works; but beyond these there was 
nothing to suggest sculpture in any form. The old-time prejudice 
had weakened somewhat, but a dense ignorance of the art still 
persisted. Can there be much wonder, then, that all sculptors' eyes 
turned eagerly toward that almost fabled land beyond the sea where 
art was known and appreciated ? 

Another sufficient reason for the unanimous hegira of this time 
lay in the dearth of good materials in this country. Our early 
sculptors were as a rule expert carvers according to the standard of 
the day, but America offered them no fine marble. What little they 
used was imported at great expense and with exasperating delays 
from Italy. As for bronze casting, the case was still more hopeless. 
Suitable sand was not to be had, and the experts who knew the 
caster's art guarded their secret well in Munich and in Paris. It 
was not until 1847 that the first bronze statue was cast in the United 
States, and this attempt was not a brilliant success. 

With these conditions in mind, it may seem strange that so 
many aspirants should have suddenly turned to sculpture as a pro- 
fession. When it is recalled, however, that the discovery of the 
daguerreotype was not announced until 1839, and that up to that time 
almost the only available reproductions of the human countenance 
had been paintings and silhouettes, it is not surprising that portrait 
sculpture should have been favored by the well-to-do, nor that Yankee 



INTRODUCTION 7 

ingenuity should have come to discover its resources in this direction. 
Almost all of these early sculptors were intelligent but uncultivated 
men who had come to their craft by way of the marble yard, and 
who troubled themselves little with politics, philosophy, or poetry. 
Greenough was exceptional in his education ; Powers and Crawford 
in their later mental development ; but the rank and file were largely 
of the character described. They had nothing in particular to say, 
but had early discovered an aptitude for the chisel and the modelling 
tool, as the next one might for music or rhyming. Opportunity came 
— or was made — and the modest talent was cultivated, often through 
hardships which were silently borne or perhaps quite overlooked in 
the radiant vision of a career as distinguished and as profitable as 
that of the sculptor then promised to be. 

With one accord these early men hastened to Italy, where in 
Florence or Rome they carved portrait busts for a living, and 
modelled figures as nearly in the style of Canova and Thorwaldsen 
as their unschooled hands and minds would permit. There were 
no masters among them, for masters come only with the high tides 
of art. The great artist is rarely found in a season of mediocrity. 
He comes usually as a culmination; hardly ever by way of an- 
tithesis. Hence it was impossible that there should be a great 
American sculptor in the first half of the nineteenth century, just 
as it was impossible that there should have been any at all during 
the two preceding centuries of colonial life. There was nothing to 
make sculptors out of, and even had there been a latent sense of 
form, there was nothing; to bring it to fruition. 

It has been well said of the Late Renaissance that " it did not 
think, it merely adapted thought ; it did not feel, it appropriated 
the masks of classic feeling." How much more true is this of that 
later classic revival in Italy which followed with such servility the 
letter, but failed so completely to catch the spirit, of Greek art ! We 
have grown so far away from its " classic " formula, which our primi- 
tives w r ere reared upon, that we are scarcely able to do these men 
justice to-day. In the presence of their uninspired works we can 
sympathize with Emerson, who thought, back in the thirties, that 
" the art of sculpture has long ago perished to any real effect." We 
can understand, too, Hawthorne's petulance toward the succeeding 



8 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

phase of Italo- American art, — " this universal prettiness, which seems 
to be the highest conception of the crowd of modern sculptors." No 
doubt it was the reaction from such irresponsibility and childishness 
on the part of our sculptors which led Sidney Lanier to make the 
surprising claim for John Rogers' war groups that they revealed 
" the brightest examples of genius in the art yet afforded by our 
country." For it must be acknowledged that up to the time of the 
Centennial but little significance had crept into American sculpture. 
It was alien and impersonal, expressing in no way the spirit of the 
people nor even the emotions of its authors. The lyric strain was 
almost unknown ; our sculptors were executants, not composers. 
They thought that they were doing original work, but with most of 
them it was mere rearrangement and recitation by rote. 

Since that time the evolution of taste has been so rapid that 
many a worthy craftsman has been left stranded and bewildered 
by the receding tide of popularity. A few bridged over the period 
of artistic revolution and adjusted themselves to a new environ- 
ment; a few — a very few — escaped the levelling influence of 
Italy. Generally this was the result of failure to go abroad ; 
sometimes it was the price of ignorance ; but in more than one case 
it was the protest of a natural independence which disdained to fol- 
low the beaten path and proposed by its own unaided efforts to 
blaze new trails to fame. Such men are indeed exceptional and 
stand out, rugged and distinct, in the history of our art. Their works 
speak for themselves and demand attention. Other men of less note 
must be mentioned in the early annals because they were first, 
or because of special achievement, or of the influence which they 
exerted, or for some other reason ; but there must necessarily remain 
a colorless and nameless multitude, the now silenced " Greek chorus " 
of endeavor. These are as necessary in all periods as are the mas- 
ter performers, — without them are no masters, — but they leave 
slight record. For their unheralded efforts and their forgotten con- 
tributions we should be thankful. They had their value in the 
sequence of progress. 

With the Centennial Exposition of 1876 came an artistic quick- 
ening such as our country never had known before. A new and 
growing appreciation dates from that year. It began with the 



INTRODUCTION 9 

recognition of our own shortcomings as compared with other 
lands. France in particular made strong appeal to our newly- 
awakened tastes, and the work of one or two Americans who had 
studied in Paris had great influence. The demand for a better and 
more forceful art was not long to remain unanswered. With the 
advent of Saint Gaudens there came a notable change in the spirit 
of American sculpture, while the rapid transformation of its technic 
was no less marked and significant. Though we owe this change 
largely to Paris, the result has not been French sculpture. Paris 
has vitalized the dormant tastes and energies of America — that is 
all. A pronounced and helpful feature of the new order is the fact 
that as a rule the Parisian-trained sculptors do not remain abroad; 
they return to live with their own people and, like their French 
masters, they delight in teaching. The influence of such a man as 
Saint Gaudens, for instance, becomes incalculable when multiplied 
through the pupils whom he has brought up to share his labors and 
his triumphs. Thus the art schools of America are at the present 
time in a flourishing condition, and the opportunity for study from 
nature is so abundant in all of our large cities that it is no longer 
necessary for a student of sculpture to go abroad excepting for 
travel and observation. Hands have grown skilful and eyes dis- 
cerning here in America, while not a few of our sculptors have 
learned the art of thinking and expressing themselves in truly 
sculptural terms — something which is quite distinct, it may be said 
in passing, from realistic imitation, and which presupposes a motive 
very different from one of either a picturesque or a literary 
character. 

But while the men of the new generation have acquired such mas- 
tery of the "mechanics" of the profession as wins the praise of their 
foreign instructors and fellow-workers, their language is not always 
understood at home. Our people have no intuitive grasp of its 
meaning. In spite of the oft-repeated assurance that we know what 
we like, we do not even know what we are saying when we say it. 
It is true that we recognize what we like, and that we like it well, 
for the time at least. On the other hand, we do not have a " grand 
passion " for sculpture, taking it to heart like the modern French. 
Our feelings are not outraged by bad work, nor by transgressions of 



IO THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

venerated laws of style, of balance, of movement, and of other sacred 
traditions. Likewise are we insensible, in large measure, to the charm 
of these fundamental virtues. Unless a work of sculpture shows 
something more ; unless it makes special appeal by its significance, 
its emotion, or its insistent beauty of face or form, we are as indif- 
ferent to it as though it were not; we do not, perhaps, even see it. 

We lose much, of course, but there is after all something rather 
fine in this sturdy independence. It may, indeed it must, result in 
an art of greater meaning and intensity than we have heretofore 
known. We say to the artist, as it were, " Put in all the 'composi- 
tion,' all the ' technic ' you please; we have nothing against them; 
but first of all give us something that we can understand and sym- 
pathize with." Hence it follows that the mere " Beaux-Arts figure " 
so closely allied to the objet de Paris, has already had its day with a 
considerable portion of our community. It has followed the Graces 
and the Cupids of our Italian age. 

Perhaps, however, we underestimate our own development in 
the appreciation of form for its own sake. Unconsciously the better 
technic has made itself a necessity ; the Parisian bronze, the Paris- 
trained sculptor, and — let it not be forgotten — increasing familiar- 
ity with the real masterpieces of the past have raised the standard 
all along the line. While we may not be able to formulate an 
artistic creed, innumerably more people enjoy good art in this 
country at present than was the case a generation ago. In 
monumental sculpture the change is particularly noticeable. Fully 
one-half of our existing public monuments would fail to pass muster 
to-day with the municipal art commissions which have recently been 
created to protect the parks and avenues of our great cities. 

Although any attempt at classification must be more or less 
arbitrary, the space of time covered in this history may be divided in 
a general way into three sections: — 

I. The Beginnings of American Sculpture, 1 750-1850. 
II. Middle Period, 1S50-1S76. 
III. Contemporary Sculpture, 1 876-1 903. 

The first of these periods goes far back in order to bring to view 
the faint foreshadowings of our coming achievements, but its latter 



INTRODUCTION 1 1 

half is a story of fascinating interest — a story of struggles and suc- 
cesses of the deepest significance to American art. 

The second period, though including the years of the Civil War, 
was largely one of commercial activity, — a time of opulence rather 
than of enthusiasm, — and its achievements were by so much less 
distinctive, excepting in the case of a few sturdy men who were 
too strong in their own individualities to bow to the fashion of the 
hour. These men made the succeeding period possible. 

The third period has brought a new revelation of the beautiful 
in nature and is showing to the people of this country the possibili- 
ties of sculpture. In this period it has reached for the first time the 
dignity of a national expression, something neither Anglo-Saxon 
nor Italian nor French ; but a fusing of all these elements into an 
art which is vital and significant — the true product of the country 
and the age which have given it birth. 



PART I 
AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

THE BEGINNINGS, 1 750-1850 



CHAPTER I 

EARLY EFFORTS IN SCULPTURE 

The earliest sculptural expression of which we find record in 
the American colonies is the work of Mrs. Patience Wright of 
Bordentown, New Jersey. Her miniature heads in wax were 
celebrated by the elder chroniclers, but in the absence of ocular 
proof we must needs be a trifle sceptical regarding their superla- 
tive merits. 

Patience Lovell was born at Bordentown in 1725. Of her 
parents nothing is known excepting that they had become Quakers, 
and as little is known of the childhood of the future artist. In 1748 
she married Joseph Wright. Although there was not a statue or 
a cast in that part of the country, Mrs. Wright's talent revealed 
itself early, and long before the Revolution she had acquired a wide 
reputation for clever portraits in wax. Upon the death of her 
husband, in 1769, she removed with her three children to London, 
where she had a remarkable success in her art, the English peri- 
odicals of the time giving her high praise and styling her the 
" Promethean modeller." We are told that at one time she was 
freely admitted into the presence of the king, but that she lost 
his favor by scolding him for sanctioning the American war. It 
is a well-known fact that she rendered valuable service to the 
American cause during that trying period. Whenever a squadron 
was being fitted out or a general appointed, this keen-witted 
Quaker woman would transmit the number of troops and the 
place of their destination to the leaders of the Revolution. She 
corresponded a great deal with Benjamin Franklin, who at that 
time resided in Paris. 

The London Magazine for 1775 contains a curious portrait 
of Mrs. Wright, showing her seated and holding a miniature bust 



1 6 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

of a man which she has apparently just modelled. The cut is 
accompanied by the following notice : — 

" Her likenesses of the king, queen, Lords Chatham and Temple, 
Messrs. Barre, Wilkes, and others, attracted universal admiration. 
Her natural abilities are surpassing, and had a liberal and extensive 
education been added to her intimate qualities, she would have 
been a prodigy. She has an eye of that quick and brilliant water 
that it penetrates and darts through the person it looks on, and 
practice has made her so capable of distinguishing the character 
and dispositions of her visitors that she is very rarely mistaken, 
even in a minute point of manners ; much more so in the general 
cast of character." 

The " likeness " of Lord Chatham was a full-length portrait in wax, 
to which was accorded the high honor of a position in Westminster 
Abbey, where, protected by a glass case, it stood for many years. 

Mrs. Wright died in London in 1785. Her younger daughter 
married John Hoppner, the English portrait painter; while her son, 
Joseph Wright, after studying with Benjamin West, returned to 
the United States to play a modest but interesting role in the 
history of American painting. 

It was in 17S5, also, that Houdon, the great French sculptor, 
was commissioned by the state of Virginia to execute a marble 
statue of George Washington. For this purpose he crossed the 
ocean and spent two weeks at Philadelphia, making studies and 
a life mask of the future president. It is said that he even made 
a plaster cast of his entire person. An interesting glimpse of the 
facilities of ocean travel at that time is afforded by the following 
note in Louis Gonse's " La Sculpture Francaise " : " Houdon sailed 
with Franklin from Havre on the 22nd of July, 1 7S5. He was 
with Washington for fifteen days in Philadelphia, made his models, 
and returned to France, reaching home on January 4th, 1 786." 

The modelling and carving of the statue occupied two years, and 
the completed work, arriving at Richmond in 1788, was at once in- 
stalled in the rotunda of the state Capitol, where it still remains. The 
little cistern-like room, connecting two legislative halls where history 
has been made, is dingy and without decoration other than a few 
busts and a typewriter's conspicuous card ; but it has a fine top light 



EARLY EFFORTS IN SCULPTURE 17 

which is worth more than upholstery and gilding. The head and 
shoulders of the figure are superbly illuminated, and the effect is noble 
beyond any impression given by replicas of the statue in other loca- 
tions. The workmanship is exceedingly skilful and grows upon one 
with study ; but there is, it must be confessed, a feeling of leanness 
and angularity in the lower portion of the statue. It may be that 
it was inherent in the subject, and it is doubtless accentuated by the 
costume — the uniform of a Revolutionary officer. Whatever may be 
the cause, there is, in spite of irreproachable drawing, an effect as of 
pasteboard or tinware about the lower limbs. This is further en- 
hanced by the wide angle of the feet, which gives the figure from one 
view the look of having been cut out of a folded paper and then spread 
open. The close-fitting nether garments combined with their " tight- 
ness" of treatment, and the unheroic but doubtless circumstantial 
swell of the abdomen, produce a result more curiously individual 
than majestic, until the eye returns to the noble head, which is one 
of the finest examples of simplification to be found in modern art. 
It has in it the serenity and greatness of all time. Nearer approach 
discovers the perfection of drawing and of marble-cutting in the 
gloved right hand, which rests upon a long cane, and in the bared 
left, which lies upon a cloak thrown over the fasces — a bundle 
large, tall, and insistently prominent. This strange accessory rests 
in turn upon a ploughshare. The sharp lines of cane and plough 
and fasces are unpleasant and unsculptural, but the transfigured 
head welcomes the gaze after each bewildering excursion. 

The base bears the inscription, " Par Houdon, Citoyen Francais, 
1788," and the front of the pedestal is covered with the following 
legend : — 

"The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Vir- 
ginia has caused this statue to be erected as a monument 
of appreciation and gratitude to GEORGE WASHING- 
TON, who, uniting to the endowments of the Hero the 
virtues of the Patriot, and exerting both in establishing the 
Liberties of his Country has rendered his name dear to his 
Fellow Citizens and given the world an immortal example 
of true glory. 

" Done in the year of CHRIST one thousand seven 
hundred and eighty-eight and in the year of the Com- 
monwealth the twelfth." 
c 



IS THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Several reproductions of the figure exist, among them bronzes in 
the Capitol at Washington, the Museum of Fine Arts of Cincinnati, 
and Lafayette Park, St. Louis, and plaster casts in the Boston Athe- 
naeum and elsewhere. 

The " Washington " was not M. Houdon's first contribution to the 
art treasures of the New World, however, for in an elevated niche of 
that same rotunda in the Virginian Capitol is a remarkable bust of 
Lafayette of earlier date, from the same fluent hand. One recognizes 
the strange sloping forehead and the similarly retreating hair, but the 
face is that of a youthful hero. The epauletted shoulders emerge 
from a voluminous drapery which is wound about the base and gives 
to the bust the air of a work of Coysevox. The inscription announces 
that this commission was voted Dec. 17, 1781, that is, in the same 
year in which Houdon exposed at the Salon his masterpiece, the 
" Voltaire " of the Comedie Francaise. 

The next sculptor to visit us was an imaginative but unbal- 
anced Italian, whose erratic career led him to the United States 
in 1 791. Giuseppe Cerracchi was in this country for some months, 
and left a number of works of historic interest. He was born in 
Rome in 1740, and was employed as a young man with Canova 
upon sculptures for the Pantheon, but journeyed in 1773 to Eng- 
land, where his ability was recognized by Sir Joshua Reynolds 
and other artists of influence. From England he went to Paris, 
where he was intimate with David and became affected by the 
revolutionary spirit then in the air. Filled with enthusiasm for 
" Liberty" and the new Republic, he came to America with a most 
preposterous scheme for Congress to erect a monument to Liberty, 
— a colossal group a hundred feet high, in marble, and including a 
score of figures, a chariot and horses, and marble clouds ad libitiim. 
In the words of the "prospectus": "The Goddess of Liberty is rep- 
resented descending in a car drawn by four horses, darting through 
a volume of clouds which conceals the summit of a rainbow. Her 
form is at once expressive of dignity and peace. In her right hand 
she brandishes a flaming dart, which by dispelling the mists of error, 
illuminates the universe ; her left is extended in the attitude of call- 
ing upon the people of America to listen to her voice." This is but the 
beginning, however; a whole page of fine print is required to describe 



PHOTOGRAVURES 



PLATE 










I. 


Saint Gaudens. 


Lincoln ± 


^rotitispiece 

FACING PAGE 


II. 


Greenough. 


Washington 




37 


III. 


Powers. 


Greek Slave ....... 




57 


IV. 


Crawford. 


Orpheus ........ 




72 


V. 


Brown. 


Washington ....... 




114 


VI. 


Story. 


Cleopatra ........ 




150 


VII. 


Ward. 


Henry Ward Beecher ...... 




216 


VIII. 


Saint Gaudens. 


Shaw Memorial ....... 




279 


IX. 


French. 


Death and the Young Sculptor .... 




310 


X. 


MacMonnies. 


Nathan Hale ....... 




33 2 


XI. 


Barnard. 


The Two Natures ...... 




356 


XII. 


Bartlett. 


Michael Angelo ....... 




373 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN TEXT 



FIGURE 


I. 


Rush. 


2. 


a 


3- 


Frazee. 


4- 


Greexough. 


5- 




6. 


Powers. 


7- 




8. 


Crawford. 


9- 


C£ 


10. 


a 


1 1. 


Hart. 


12. 


Clevenger. 


13- 


iMozier. 


14- 


Brown. 


J 5- 


Mills. 


16. 


Palmer. 


17- 


" 


i8. 


Ball. 


ig. 


a 


20. 


Story. 


21. 


Rogers, Randolph 


22 


Rogers. 


23- 


Rinehart. 


24. 


a 


25- 


Rogers, John. 


26. 


Gould. 


27- 


Greexough, R. S. 


28. 


Hosmer. 


29. 


it 


30. 


Whitney. 


31- 


Ward. 


32- 


it 


33- 


a 


34- 


Thompson. 



PAGE 

Nymph of the Schuylkill ....... 21 

Bust of Himself ......... 26 

Bust of Himself . . . . . , . . -31 

The Rescue ......... 45 

Angel Abdiel . . . . . . . . -51 

Proserpine . ......... 61 

Daniel Webster ........ 66 

Freedom .......... 76 

Pediment of Senate . . , . . . . .81 

Washington Monument ...... 86 

Henry Clay ......... 95 

Washington Allston . ... . . . . . 100 

Prodigal Son ......... 107 

General Greene . . . . . . . . .119 

Jackson Monument . . . . . . ... 125 

White Captive ......... 133 

Peace in Bondage . . . . . . . .140 

Washington .......... 143 

Emancipation Group ........ 146 

Professor Henry . . . . . . . -IS 2 

Lost Pleiad .......... 159 

Nydia 167 

Latona and her Children . . . . . . -173 

Clyde 179 

One More Shot 185 

West Wind 191 

Governor Winthrop ........ 197 

Beatrice Cenci ......... 205 

Zenobia .......... 209 

Samuel Adams ......... 213 

Indian Hunter ......... 219 

The Warrior ......... 227 

General Thomas . . . . . . . .231 

Napoleon I 235 

xi 



XI 1 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN TEXT 



FIGURE 














PAGE 


35. Meade. 


Ethan Allen 241 


36. BlSSELL. 


Lycurgus .... 












246 


37- 


Chancellor John Watts 












249 


38. Hartley. 


John Gilbert 












258 


39. Warner. 


Diana .... 












265 


40. " 


Imagination 












271 


41. Saint Gaudens. 


Admiral Farragut 












283 


42. " 


Amor Caritas 












289 


43- 


Deacon Chapin . 












295 


44. 


Adams Memorial 












299 


45- 


Sherman .... 












• 305 


46. French. 


Gallaudet Group 












3'3 


47. 


O'Reilly Monument . 












3i3 


48. " 


Washington 












323 


49. 


Alma Mater 












327 


50. MacMonnies. 


Columbian Fountain . 












337 


51. 


Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial 












343 


52. " 


Shakespeare 












346 


53- 


Bacchante .... 












349 


54- 


Horse Tamers 












354 


55. Barnard. 


The Hewer 












363 


56. 


Maidenhood 












37o 


57. Bartlett. 


The Ghost Dancer 












375 


58. 


Lafayette .... 












379 


59. 


Columbus .... 












384 


60. Adams. 


Portrait Bust 












3§9 


61. 


Tympanum 












39 2 


62. NlEHAUS. 


Garfield .... 












397 


63. 


Hahnemann 












402 


64. Boyle. 


The Stone Age . 












406 


65. Elwell. 


Egypt Awaking . 












413 


66. 


The New Life 












416 


67. COUPER. 


Beauty's Wreath for VaIor"s Bro\ 


V 










419 


68. " 


Te Deum Laudamus . 












423 


69. Ruckstuhl. 


Evening .... 












427 


70. Partridge. 


Tennyson .... 












430 


71. Donoghue. 


Young Sophocles 












433 


72. MacNeil. 


Agnese .... 












438 


73- 


The Sun Vow .... 












44' 


74. LUKEMAN. 


Manu .... 












444 


75. Lopez. 


The Sprinter 












446 


76. " 


Maternity .... 












448 


77. VONNOH. 


Mother and Babe 












450 



EARLY EFFORTS IN SCULPTURE 19 

the various groups in which appear Saturn, Apollo, Clio, Philosophy, 
Policy, National Valor, Neptune, Mercury, and many other old 
friends. Probably our people were not very different then from 
what they are now, and it is easy to imagine their appreciation of 
the fanciful project. As might have been foretold, the money was 
not voted, — though the price was only $ 30,000, — and President 
Washington good-naturedly suggested private subscriptions, head- 
ing the list himself with a circumspect amount. As other names 
did not follow rapidly the sculptor, quite disheartened, returned to 
France, but not until he had made a number of portrait busts which 
are reputed to be good, and some of which have found their way 
into marble. It is said that Cerracchi reached Paris just in time to 
have his head taken off for conspiracy against Napoleon ; but other 
reports, no less trustworthy, assert that he was consigned to an 
insane asylum instead of the guillotine. His portrait is still to be 
seen at the Yale Museum, done in miniature by Trumbull, and is 
noticeable for the large, domelike forehead. The hair is in queue, 
but loose and abundant over the head. The intelligent face wears 
a look of suffering, and the lips are tight pressed. The gray coat 
disappears under a foam of lace. 

Cerracchi's bust of Washington is erroneously said to have been 
placed in the Boston Athenaeum. After strange wanderings abroad 
it was returned to this country, but has disappeared from view. The 
sculptor also did portraits of Jefferson, Clinton, Hamilton, Benson, 
Jay, and Paul Jones. Two marble busts attributed to him may be 
seen in the Pennsylvania Academy : a " Hamilton " and a " Frank- 
lin," both of which are weak. The first is a copy, however, by John 
Dixey, and it is likely that the more glaring defects of the second — 
such as the hair carved -in square ropes — are due to another less 
skilful hand. However, the pose and expression, which are undoubt- 
edly Cerracchi's, do scant justice to the dignity of the subjects. 1 

A page in passing should be devoted to this same John Dixey, 
whose quiet personality strolls upon the scene in a manner very 
different from the tempestuous entry and exit of Cerracchi. Born in 

1 Dunlap. in his " Arts of Design," recites, at -great length, the story of Cerracchi's later 
doings in Paris. " History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United 
States," by William Dunlap, New York, 1834. 



20 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Dublin, he spent most of his youth in London, where as a student 
in the Royal Academy he showed exceptional promise. Circum- 
stances led him in 1789 to America. Transplanted to this new 
atmosphere, he seems to have become merely a workman of modest 
attainments and industrious habits, who built up a good business in 
house decoration. His most important contribution to a "national 
art " was a " Hercules and the Hydra " in bas-relief, which did not 
seem to be greatly needed, and finally disappeared entirely. 

Dunlap, the historian of early American art, says of Dixey: 
" The models he executed were the fruits of his leisure hours, made 
at such intervals as he could spare from the pursuits which the state 
of the arts in this country, at that time, compelled him to resort to. 
He wished to revive the too much neglected art of sculpture, and 
his models were generally done at a considerable pecuniary sacrifice. 
His death occurred in 1820. Besides ' Hercules and the Hydra,' Mr. 
Dixey executed in 1818 a model of 'Ganymede,' and the next year 
he carved in wood the ' Adoration of the Wise Men of the East.' 
The Cherub's head in marble, on the Hamilton monument, is from 
his chisel, and the figures of Justice on the City Hall of New York, 
and the State House at Albany, are his design and execution. 

" The talents and acquirements of Mr. Dixey, for many years 
previous to his death, were principally directed to the ornamental 
and decorative embellishment of public and private edifices. In 
the graceful and almost endless variety in which flowers are sus- 
ceptible of being grouped, intermingled with the fanciful heads of 
men and animals, his chisel ever displayed both taste and ability." J 

Meanwhile a certain William Rush of Philadelphia, an intelli- 
gent wood-carver of artistic temperament, had gradually perfected 
himself in the details of his profession. Born in Philadelphia on 
July 4, 1756, he had been apprenticed early to one Edward Cut- 
bush, a carver, and his skill was presently rewarded by a large and 
lucrative business in the designing of figure-heads for ships. Nota- 
ble among them were those for the United States frigates, United 
States and Constellation, representing respectively " The Genius of 
the United States" and "Nature." His figure of the "Indian 
Trader," on the ship William Penn, was copied by several London 

1 " Arts of Design," Vol. I, p. 329. 



EARLY EFFORTS IN SCULPTURE 



21 



artists, who made casts and sketches of the head, while his " River 
God " for the ship Gauges is said to have been reverenced by the 
Hindus, who came in boat loads to see it. 

Dunlap refers to " this intelligent and very pleasant old gentle- 
man," and tells us that " his performances are all in wood and clay. 
. . . His time would never permit, or he would have attempted 
marble. He used to say it was immaterial what the substance 
was, the artist must see distinctly the figure in the block, and re- 
moving the surface was merely 
mechanical. When in a hurry 
he used to hire a wood-chop- 
per, and stand by and give 
directions where to cut. By 
this means he facilitated work 
with little labor to himself. 
The crucifixes in the St. Au- 
gustine and St. Mary's Catholic 
churches, the ' Water Nymph ' 
at Fair Mount, the figures in 
front of the theatre, with the 
statue of Washington in the 
State House 1 [1812], are his 
works in Philadelphia. It was 
always a source of regret that 
he had so little time spared 
him from his occupation in 
ship-carving, where he suc- 
ceeded so admirably, especially 
in his Indian figures." 2 

Most of these examples of 
our earliest sculpture have disappeared from view, the figure-heads 
having "gone the way of the old-time specimens of marine architec- 
ture to which they were attached." From what remains we may 
well believe them to have been far more interesting artistically than 
the work of not a few of our professional sculptors. Mr. Rush had 

1 A life-size figure still standing in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. 

2 "Arts of Design," Vol. I. p. 315. 




Fig. 1. — Rush: Nymph of the Schuylkill. 



22 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

ideas in abundance, a sense of grace, and much facility; and in style, 
the resultant of all these elements, he was not lacking. When to 
such qualities are added enthusiasm and industry, the endowment of 
a good artist becomes unusually complete. An artist William Rush 
certainly was in his own field. The " Nymph of the Schuylkill " 
(Fig. i) proves this as it stands to-day in the form of a bronze rep- 
lica, near the waterworks in Fairmount Park. This ingenious work, 
for which, it is said, " a celebrated belle of the time consented to 
pose," represents a young woman holding a bittern upon her right 
shoulder. The plump arms are most gracefully disposed, the left 
hand grasping one of the feet of the bird, the right steadying a 
half-lifted wing. The bill threw a vertical stream of water which 
must have frequently deluged the maiden's abundant chignon, but 
otherwise her clinging attire is not ill suited to such mishaps. 
The waist is girdled with rushes, and the escaping drapery is skil- 
fully handled, though the fulness of the skirt is in ridges rather 
than folds, betraying the wood-carver's treatment. Altogether, in 
spite of obvious crudities, the effect of the figure is one of light- 
ness and grace — it may almost be said, of elegance. The original 
figure was carved in wood, and stood for many years in Centre 
Square, later called Penn Square. It was afterward removed to 
Fairmount Park, where it remained until it began to decay and its 
beauties to be threatened with as complete obliteration as had long 
since befallen the fair body which had inspired them. Fortunately 
a bronze cast was then made from the wood, preserving its every 
detail. Instead, however, of being placed in a museum, the original 
was again exposed to the weather until it all but fell to pieces, when 
the fragments were finally removed to the attic of a neighboring 
engine-house, where they are inaccessible. 

Mr. Rush was one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Academy 
of Fine Arts. As early as 1 7S9 he had sought with Charles Wilson 
Peale and others to establish such an institution, and when in 1805 
it was finally inaugurated, he became a director, a position which 
he held actively until the time of his death. In 18 12 he made a 
notable exhibit at this Academy of six of his later works ; these, 
according to Dunlap, were busts of Linnaeus, William Bartram, 
and the Rev. H. Muhlenburg, and figures of a cherub and of 



EARLY EFFORTS IN SCULPTURE 23 

" Exhortation " and " Praise." The " figures in front of the theatre," 
to which the historian referred, were " Tragedy " and " Comedy," and 
are still preserved at the Actors' Home, in the suburbs of Philadel- 
phia. There is also mention of ideal figures of " Winter " and 
" Agriculture." 

The only memento which the Pennsylvania Academy possesses 
of this remarkable man is his portrait (Fig. 2), "carved in a pine 
knot" by his own hands, — or rather, a plaster cast of the same, 
the original having long since disappeared. This bust is a unique 
and curious work. The shaggy shoulders are in appearance but 
a rough, knotty log over which a pine sprig has fallen, its needles 
mingling with the artist's long, thin locks. The effect of the form- 
less mass is to suggest arms uplifted. Out of it emerges a strong 
and precisely characterized head of true Revolutionary type. 
Though the modelling is dry and literal, the ears in particular 
being crudely done, there is no question of its veracity ; it shows 
us exactly what manner of man was William Rush. A whole gen- 
eration of Italianate Americans produced nothing so trustworthy. 
The fine old head is turned vigorously to the right, the pose is 
strong but contained, and despite the unconventionality, not to say 
grotesqueness, of the wood-carver's fancy, the whole effect is one of 
power. The drawing of the nose, the modelling of the sensitive 
mouth and the fine chin, and particularly the expression of the seeing 
eyes are all admirable. This is one of those portraits which bind 
the generations of men together, which make us feel acquainted one 
with another. It has the same kind of authenticity that we recog- 
nize in Saint Gaudens's bust of Sherman, which stands close at hand. 

In noting the resemblance of this face to certain military types, 
it is interesting to find that Mr. Rush actually served in his youth 
in the Revolutionary army. He was a member of the Council of 
Philadelphia for more than a quarter of a century, and made his 
influence felt in the political and intellectual life of his city until 
the time of his death, which occurred Jan. 17, 1S33. It is 
probable that, coming at the time he did, he accomplished more 
for sculpture in Philadelphia than has any other one man since 
his day. His talent, remarkable as it was, counts for less than his 
personal influence. Though his own sculpture was wrought largely 



24 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

in perishable materials, his service to American art is enduring, 
for in uniting and crystallizing the floating elements of culture, in 
rendering them available, he made a contribution of permanent 
and ever-increasing value. 

There was another wood-carver of those early times — though 
born considerably later than Rush — whose modest achievement 
deserves mention. Hezekiah Augur of New Haven, Connecticut, 
had no such influence as had William Rush, and produced little 
that comes within the scope of this work, but that little is exceed- 
ingly precious. The circumstances were extraordinary and will 
excuse some quotations from H. W. French's " Arts and Artists of 
Connecticut." 

" The first Connecticut sculptor," says French, " was Hezekiah 
Augur, born in New Haven, February, 1 791, the son of a carpenter. 
Augur, as a boy, enjoyed his father's trade ; he enjoyed it more 
than his father did. At eight years old he ' preferred the confines 
of the shop to fighting schoolfellows,' to quote from a letter of his 
writing. This mildness of temper was to some extent unfortunate, 
preventing him from fighting his way into art till over thirty-four 
years old, though from childhood he was an artist. He had better 
have left carving wood with his father's tools now and then and 
gone out and fought his schoolfellows. The experience would have 
been good for him. 

" His father did not like this carving and cutting, having that 
objection to his own business so common to the paternal mind. He 
put the boy under a grocer, when nine years old, to ' learn a trade.' 
Hezekiah did learn a trade. The grocer could mend and make shoes ; 
and counting it better to be a doorkeeper in art than a nabob in mer- 
chandise, Hezekiah applied himself to the awl. When the time for 
which he was bound expired, he issued an abominably poor grocer, 
but a proficient cobbler. Shoemaking was not in his father's pro- 
gramme for his son. He presented him with two thousand dollars 
and a position in a firm of reputedly honorable men as partner in a 
dry-goods business. This was a mistake on the part of all con- 
cerned. It was the great blunder of Hezekiah Augur's life. He 
knew his desires and ambition, and instead of passing unobjectingly, 
as he admits, into one plan or another, he should have asserted 



EARLY EFFORTS IN SCULPTURE 25 

himself and let Art claim her own. His partnership continued but 
three years ; when, he never knew precisely how, it was demon- 
strated to him that his two thousand dollars were not only disposed 
of, but that he stood indebted to the rest of the firm to the amount 
of seven thousand dollars more. By nature keenly sensitive, the 
sudden fall, after having lived upon the most social terms in the 
best society of New Haven, was a bitter blow, from which he did 
not easily recover. He found the truth of the old adage, that wealth 
makes honorable men at a cost of much suffering ; and, wholly 
dropped and forgotten by his old associates, he opened a little fruit 
stand, where, in a sense, he succeeded." 

The annals of American art present nothing more ludicrously 
tragic than this picture of the dazed young merchant sitting humbly 
amid his apples and oranges and vainly trying to make out " how it 
happened." But these dark hours ushered in a most unexpected 
dawn. For solace he resumed his old-time diversion of wood- 
carving, and decorated elaborately a mahogany case for a musical 
instrument which he had made. He chanced to take it to a cabinet- 
maker to varnish, and the beauty of the workmanship being recog- 
nized, he was at once offered employment at good pay. For two 
years he carved the legs of mahogany chairs and various ornaments 
in the intervals of " business." His biographer continues with 
worldly wisdom : " At the end of that time, having saved a consider- 
able sum, he committed another blunder in paying up as much as he 
could of his indebtedness to the dry-goods firm. Encouraged by 
this, they began a system of dunning that so alarmed Mr. Augur 
that he sold out his fruit stand and carving business. The short, 
thin man, with light brown hair, an exceptionally fair, almost florid 
complexion, who was forever carving behind the counter, was missed 
from the fruit stand ; but the general opinion among his former 
friends was that it was only another failure, for which the first had 
made him famous." 

Fame was destined to come, however, in a very different guise — 
in a manner as unforeseen by the modest carver as by the carping 
neighbors. Like a romance is the next step in his progress. 

"In the seclusion into which his sensitiveness and timidity forced 
him, he completed an invention for making worsted lace, which 



26 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



brought him a large price, and at once enabled him to free himself 
from debt. At almost the same time his father died ; and, all con- 
straint being removed at the eleventh hour, he turned his whole 
soul toward art, though he said for himself of this final devotion, 
' With a life-blot behind me, my only ambition is to drown memory 
and reflection in a pleasant pastime.' In 1847 he also brought out a 

carving machine, which 
is still used in several 
factories for carving pi- 
ano legs. He originated 
many inventions in the 
course of his life, one 
of the more prominent 
being one rarely credited 
to him — that of produc- 
ing the first bracket-saw. 
"He carved so finely 
in wood, that Professor 
Morse urged him to at- 
tempt a work in marble. 
His first endeavor was 
upon the head of Apollo. 
He went at his marble 
as he had his wood, with 
no more of a model than 
his own fancy furnished 
him. This, of course, 
necessitated exceedingly 
slow work, and increased the timidity of expression ; but the result 
was exciting and encouraging. He then produced a head of Wash- 
ington and a figure of Sappho; and his fame was secure, so far as 
purely native talent, with no education whatever, could win it." 

Mention is made of orders from New Haven and Hartford ; but 
we can readily believe that in those days " his skill, though so re- 
markable, was not such as was calculated to yield a large income, 
except as works of his fancy might sell." He did receive one com- 
mission from Congress to make a bust of Chief Justice Ellsworth, 




Fig. 2. — Portrait of William Rush by himself, 
Pennsylvania Academy. 



EARLY EFFORTS IN SCULPTURE 27 

which still stands in the United States Supreme Court room in 
Washington. Mr. French then turns to " Mr. Augur's great work, 
. . . one that merits all the fame it achieved for its author, . . . the 
often-quoted pair of marble statuettes, ' Jephthah and his Daughter.' " 
It seems that they were carved without models. " But in them- 
selves," he observes, with discrimination, " though expressing the 
faults natural to such a course, they possess much that is indicative 
of an exceptionally high rank of ability. In each the expression of 
face and limb, and the characteristic unity throughout, are worthy 
of great commendation. The head of the ' Daughter ' is particularly 
fine in the arrangement of the hair. He invited Washington 
Allston to criticise the work. Relating the fact to a friend, he said, 
' Mr. Allston walked about them for thirty minutes without speak- 
ing, and the perspiration poured from me like rain during the whole 
half-hour.' 

" Both in character and ability he was a man well fitted to hold 
a much higher position than circumstances ever allowed him to 
occupy. In 1833 he was made an honorary member of the alumni 
of Yale College. He died in January, 1858, with much, yet little, 
left behind as the result of his life's labor." 

The so-called " group," as it is generally termed, is now in the Yale 
Art School and shows two detached figures in marble, intended as 
pendants, though unfortunately placed at some distance apart. They 
are about one-half life size and have a very professional look, showing 
no little beauty of pose and expression. Especially noticeable is the 
handling of the drapery, so often a stumbling-block to novices. 
Hezekiah Augur must have had his eyes open in those days ; he 
must have been familiar with good paintings, or at least engravings ; 
for such amplitude and richness as he has given to the garments is 
not the result of taste and ingenuity alone, but betokens experience 
— either his own or that of some one else. 

" Jephthah's Daughter" stands in a dainty, timid position, the 
right foot advanced, the lithe body bending forward ; and to the right, 
the graceful arms, seemingly advanced for the father's embrace, have 
fallen abashed, the hands still clinging to the silenced cymbals. The 
little face alone shows the unskilled touch, but with all its crudity it 
is very sweet and very refined in intention. Its pose of frightened 



2S THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

inquiry, with the incline of the figure and the droop of the arms, is 
as beautifully conceived as anything that one recalls in modern 
sculpture. It has more pathos, more felt emotion, than has the 
whole life-work of many a more famous artist. The thin little man 
of the fruit stand was a true poet ! 

" Jephthah " is less interesting, but he has a mighty swing as he 
writhes in his agony. His Roman armor — never mind the 
anachronism! — is beautifully carved. He leans on a magnificent 
shield introduced very boldly, and with his right hand pressed to his 
head he raises also the voluminous cloak, making deep shadows on 
both sides of a powerful torso. The only suggestion of ineffectual 
workmanship here is again in the head, the sculptor's formula for 
the beard being especially unfortunate. Otherwise this most elabo- 
rate figure might well be taken for the product of a French studio of 
the early eighteenth century — for the clever, florid work of a pupil of 
Pierre Puget. Such amplitude is unique in early American sculp- 
ture, being as different as possible from the meagreness and poverty 
of style shown in those first-fruits of our national art which resulted 
from its Italian transplanting. The wonder of it all is, however, that 
an artistic nature should have been evolved seemingly out of noth- 
ing ; for there is no trace of the artistic in Augur's ancestry or 
education or surroundings. Carpenter's son, grocer's clerk, cobbler, 
keeper of a fruit stand — and nevertheless a true artist! Such 
things have their significance in the history of our national de- 
velopment. Born fifty or sixty years later, with his native cleverness 
encouraged by opportunity for study, Hezekiah Augur might haply 
have become one of our greatest sculptors — and then again he 
might not ! Like scores of our own time, surrounded by advan- 
tages, he might have accomplished far less than he actually did 
when encouraged by every obstacle and strengthened by all igno- 
rance. Who shall say? 

In strictly chronological sequence, Augur should have been pre- 
ceded by John Frazee, who was born in 1790; but although the New 
Haven carver outlived Frazee by six years, the public work of the 
latter extends over a much longer period and a much larger territory. 
Augur's fame was purely local and his influence slight ; Frazee's 
efforts were a connecting link between the early sporadic manifesta- 



EARLY EFFORTS IN SCULPTURE 29 

tions of sculptural art and the modern profession. Indeed, many 
overlooking the achievements of William Rush have pronounced 
John Frazee our first American sculptor. But despite his industry 
and the fact that Dunlap was able to write of him in 1833 that "he 
has progressed to a perfection which leaves him without a rival in 
this country," Frazee seems to have been singularly unpretentious 
and to have considered his marble business paramount to the end. 
He never attempted the figure seriously, though always hoping to ; 
but many of his busts are, in both modelling and carving, good 
professional works of dignity and value. 

Dunlap tells us l that the ancestors of John Frazee were emi- 
grants from Scotland who landed at Perth Amboy among the early 
settlers of that place, and that the family name was Frazer, which 
was changed to Frazee by the grandfather of John. The historian 
continues: "Our subject was born on the 18th of July, 1790, in the 
upper village of Rah way. His mother's name was Brookfield, and 
he was her tenth child. Shortly after his birth she was deserted by 
an unworthy husband, and left to struggle with the ills of poverty. 
At the age of five John was taken to the protection of his grand- 
mother Brookfield, whose character was similar to that of her 
daughter; and from these worthy women the child derived the basis 
of his moral and religious education. The boy was the household 
drudge as well as the outdoor laborer, but cheerfully assisted his 
aged relatives — even milking the cow, churning and working for his 
grandmother, and doing the field work. Neither the schoolboy 
instruction nor the schoolboy sport fell in due degree to John ; and 
his principal amusement, when not at work, was to cut the forms of 
familiar objects out of boards or shingles, and to chalk figures upon 
the doors. His reward for these efforts was to have his ears boxed 
and the prediction that he would be a limner." 

For some unknown reason the boy was removed from his grand- 
mother, and placed with a farmer of the name of De Camp, " whose 
character and conduct were of the most deplorable kind. The boy 
remained in this habitation of vice, a slave to a brutal family, for two 
years." Escaping from this bondage at the age of thirteen, he 
returned to his passive mother and grandparents, " who joyfully 

1 "Arts of Design," Vol. II, p. 266. 



30 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

received and protected him," incidentally setting him to work with 
responsibilities sufficient to bring out the manly virtues. 

" He was not strong enough to manage and work the little farm 
of old Brookfield, and his mother procured him the advantage of a 
little more schooling. Circumstances, however, removed him from 
the occupation of an agriculturist, and he was bound apprentice to a 
country bricklayer, of the name of Lawrence. Another trial awaited 
young Frazee. The bricklayer took out a license for tavern-keep- 
ing; and John, in addition to working on the farm and laying bricks, 
had to become a tavern waiter. In the winter, when sleighing par- 
ties were frequent, many a night was spent in attending upon and 
supplying the reveller and the drunkard. But even here, with every 
temptation and example around him, the precepts of his mother and 
her mother preserved him. Besides, he had seen the evils of intem- 
perance and gambling ; and, at an early age, he resolved to eschew 
those vices, and kept his resolve firmly. Sundays were his own and 
he devoted them to teaching himself penmanship, and attempting 
to draw with his pen." 

Now comes the little incident which was destined to be the 
momentous turning-point in his progress. " So far Frazee had pro- 
ceeded in life's career without a knowledge of the instrument which 
was destined to open a brighter career for him — the chisel ; but in 
the summer of 1S0S, Lawrence, having contracted to build a bridge 
over Rahway River at Bridgetown, was ambitious enough to wish his 
name chiselled in a neat tablet of stone, with the date of the year the 
work was finished. Upwards of forty men were employed on the 
bridge, two or three of whom were stone-cutters'from New York, but 
none would undertake to immortalize the bridge builder. John asked 
permission to try his hand with the chisel, and the master consent- 
ing, he prepared the tablet and engraved on it, " Built by William 
Lawrence, a.d. 1808." This was the first work with the chisel by the 
future sculptor. He was now eighteen years of age, active, strong, 
and vigorous, and acknowledged as a skilful workman. From this 
period the chisel and mallet appeared to him the tools of his choice, 
and he aimed at becoming a stone-cutter instead of a bricklayer." 

With such a childhood as had been his, it is not strange that the 
young man felt the lack of education. " Reading, writing, and the 



EARLY EFFORTS IN SCULPTURE 



31 



first rules of arithmetic were the whole of his learning." Despite 
the fatigue of his daily work as a mason and sometimes now as a 
stone-cutter, he set resolutely to ." improve himself in useful knowl- 
edge." In this praiseworthy pursuit he was aided by a kind gentle- 
man of culture, to whom he ever remained " unalterably attached." 
His position as pupil seems to have been exchanged subsequently 
for that of instructor, for we read farther on that, " The first years of 
freedom passed in brick- 
laying in summer, mak- 
ing headstones in win- 
ter, and in the evenings 
teaching psalmody." 

Married in 1S13, he 
entered the next year 
into partnership with a 
former fellow-apprentice, 
and they established 
themselves as stone-cut- 
ters at New Brunswick. 
This latter partnership 
appears to have been 
short-lived, for in the ap- 
pendix of his book Dun- 
lap informs us abruptly 
that " Frazee got rid of 
his partner, but incurred 
debt which induced hard 
work among the tomb- 
stones, his only employ- 
ment, and strict economy. So ignorant was he at this time, that he 
had never heard of the American Academy of Fine Arts at New 
York, and when told that it was an exhibition of pictures and statues, 
he was puzzled to know how that could constitute an academy. Con- 
scious of ignorance and thirsting for knowledge, he applied himself 
assiduously to books for instruction." In 1815 he lost his oldest 
child, a son, and on his tombstone made his first attempt at the 
human figure — a representation of " Grief." There is also record of 




Fig. 3. — Bust of John Frazee by himself, 
Pennsylvania Academy. 



32 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

a head of Franklin copied from a bust, and a loving study of one of 
his children eating a pie — a hint for other artists who have trouble 
in making young America pose. In his busy life there was little 
enough leisure, however, for such diversions, since the growing 
family — or it might be a foretaste of prosperity — incited to re- 
doubled efforts. The evenings were now devoted to wood-carving 
for cabinet-makers, and the cutting of letters in steel for brands. 

" Removing to New York, Frazee, in conjunction with his 
brother William, opened a marble shop in Greenwich Street, the 
first of May, 1818. Mantelpieces and tombstones occupied him for 
some years, and from 1S19 to 1823 his principal study was lettering, 
which he carried to high perfection. To this was united monumen- 
tal memorials in marble, which our churches may long be proud of. 
It was not until the year 1820 that Frazee saw the casts in the old 
Academy. His child's model caused an introduction to Trumbull, 
who told him that nothing in sculpture 'would be wanted in this 
country for yet' a hundred years.' Frazee says in all his conversa- 
tion he was ' cold and discouraging respecting the arts,' and exclaims, 
' Is such a man fit for a president of an Academy of Fine Arts ? ' 

In spite of Trumbull's chilling rebuff, now become historic, the 
ardent stone-cutter became a student and member of the National 
Academy, and exhibited there atone time a bust of his aged mother, 
which Dunlap tells us he had seen with admiration. 

Mr. Frazee's first marble bust was carved in either 1824 or 1825; 
Dunlap gives both dates in different places. The matter would be 
unimportant were it not for the fact that this was probably the first 
marble bust chiselled in this country, undoubtedly the first carved by 
a native American. The subject was a certain John Wells, a promi- 
nent lawyer of New York, and the monument stands in old St. Paul's 
Church on Broadway — not in Grace Church, as Dunlap tells us. 
He states further that, " It' was executed from imperfect profiles 
after death," and that Frazee modelled it and put it in marble "with- 
out teacher or instruction." When one considers the difficulties of 
working from mere silhouettes, the success of this bust is extraordi- 
nary. It is very personal : the face is smooth, somewhat resembling 
the portraits of Hamilton ; the head is well turned on the shoulders, 
and is alert, keen, amiable ; the hair is marked by pleasing contrasts 



EARLY EFFORTS IN SCULPTURE 33 

of light and shade ; and the drapery is " classic," with many restless 
folds. The bust rests upon a projecting tablet which bears a long 
inscription ; and the shelf-like cornice is encumbered, after the 
fashion of the time, with various articles of monumental bric-a-brac 
strewn about the base of the bust — noticeably a Greek lamp of learn- 
ing on a pile of books, then, wherever convenient, marble scrolls and 
more books. For the Wells memorial — bust, tablet, and household 
goods — the sculptor received $1000. What labors intervened we 
do not know; but in 1831, "at the instance of the Hon. G. C. Ver- 
planck, Congress appropriated $500 for a bust of John Jay, and 
Frazee executed it much to the satisfaction of his employers and 
his own fame." A bust of Nathaniel Prime of New York opened 
the way to orders from Boston ; for Thomas W. Ward of the latter 
city, seeing this work in 1S33, induced his friends to order busts of 
Daniel Webster and Dr. Bowditch. Dunlap adds with much sympa- 
thy : " It grieves me that I cannot relate the anecdotes of Frazee 
respecting the sittings of these eminent men. Webster, at the re- 
quest of the sculptor, delivered a congressional speech while Frazee 
modelled." Elsewhere — in an appendix — he says: "I have seen 
with admiration his bust of Daniel Webster, and with more that of 
Dr. Bowditch : both chiselled in marble with skill and taste. . . . 
He has seven busts engaged for the Athenaeum in Boston, to which 
city he has recently been to model the likenesses." 

Dunlap s final paragraph in regard to his friend is in part as fol- 
lows : "In 1 83 1 Frazee entered into a partnership with Robert E. 
Launitz, who had for two years before worked with him as a journey- 
man at ornamental sculpture. Mr. Frazee is determined to execute 
the 'whole figure,' as he says, without visiting Italy. I conclude this 
brief notice of my very ingenious countryman of New Jei _ sey by 
mentioning his family. His first wife died in 1832, leaving him with 
five children (having lost five), and he is married to a second, Lydia, 
daughter of Thomas Place of New York. Notwithstanding the 
prophecy of Mr. Trumbull, Mr. Frazee is in full employment, and 
the demand for sculpture in our happy country is daily increasing." 

The "seven busts engaged for the Athenaeum in Boston" are 
there to-day, affording an excellent notion of the workmanship of this 
clever man. Most of these portraits are dated 1834, and indicate a 

D 



34 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



very profitable visit to Boston, or at least a period of great industry. 
The results are not merely the product of hard work, however, but 
show a decided talent and always a serious and respectful approach 
to the subject. If the marble-cutter has not always risen to the height 
of his theme, and met his subjects on their own level, with a grasp 
equal to their importance, it is not to be wondered at. Even the 
scholarly Greenough and the brilliant Story missed often the mean- 
ing of their sitters, if it may be so expressed, and many others 
of greater skill have been singularly inadequate in this respect. 
Frazee's busts, carved by his own hands, rank well with the best 
efforts of Powers and Hart, supplemented by the cunning of their 
Florentine assistants. 

The earliest of these busts is dated 1833, and is a curious effigy 
of Daniel Webster, perhaps the first of the long series of portraits for 
which the great statesman was compelled to pose. Every sculptor 
and portrait-painter of the North had to try his more or less 'prentice 
hand on Webster's Jove-like features, as those of the South must 
needs practise on Jackson, Clay, and Calhoun. One infers, from 
the variety of recognizable portraits, that not a few of these were 
founded upon scanty data. Frazee's bust we know to have been 
done from life, and it may be more accurate than our mental images 
of Webster. It is certainly different, and one ranks it, therefore, 
perhaps a little unfairly, as the least satisfying of Frazee's works 
in this collection. Webster's shoulders are draped in an ample and 
impressive Roman toga, as was the custom of those days — in sculp- 
ture. He wears also a very surprised look, due to much elevated 
eyebrows. One resents the pinched, weak expression about the 
mouth, occasioned by lips strangely thin. The forehead and cheeks 
are admirably modelled, however, and, like the drapery, well carved, 
so that the bust is on the whole above the average in excellence. 
It would still be considered good professional work. 

Conspicuous among these portraits is a curiously rigid bust of 
John Marshall, which with all its drapery offers a naked bosom to 
the executioner, as well as an odd, wrinkled neck into which the 
small head seems to be withdrawn, turtle-fashion. The marble is 
signed 1834, but the modelling was evidently of an earlier date. 
Dunlap tells us that the sculptor went to Virginia to do the work. 



EARLY EFFORTS IN SCULPTURE 35 

Casts of the bust are to be seen in the Pennsylvania Academy, in 
Richmond, and doubtless elsewhere. 

Four other busts by Frazee may be found in the Athenaeum col- 
lection : William Prescott (1S34), straight and stiff as Marshall; 
John Lovell ( 1834), with the head turned to one side, and showing 
good modelling; Dr. Bowditch, with Webster-like forehead but 
weak lower face, emaciated and amiable — a distinct corrobora- 
tion of Ball Hughes's portrait ; and finally, and best of all, the 
handsome bust of Colonel Thomas H. Perkins, with its strong 
physiognomy. 

There is mention also of marble busts of General Jackson, John 
Jay, Judge Story, Lafayette, De Witt Clinton, and Bishop Hobart. 
But more interesting than any of these is the record which this true 
artist has left of his own manly face (Fig. 3). Whether the bust 
was ever put in marble is uncertain, but the Pennsylvania Academy 
possesses in the original plaster cast a relic of great value. It is a 
good bust, vigorous in pose and full of character. The shoulders 
are cut away, and the expanse of bare breast is ingeniously dimin- 
ished without detriment to the solid sculptural mass from which the 
well-modelled neck rises like a tower of strength. The head is 
turned to the right ; the eyes, though blank, follow its direction and 
are admirably set in their orbits; the sensitive lips are parted a little, 
the total effect being singularly expressive, earnest, and frank, as of 
a poet nature in a powerful body. The ear is summary but " right." 
The short, serrated side-whiskers show the too professional touch of 
the stone-cutter ; but the curly hair, with all its conventionality, is 
full of color and far more artistic than the work of certain famous 
men who shipped busts home from Italy a few years later. Al- 
though this head represents Frazee in his thirty-ninth year, according 
to his own statement, it gives the impression of a much younger 
man. Did he consciously flatter himself? Doubtless in the interest 
of sculptural simplification he omitted certain marks of coming age ; 
but the key to the personality is in that brave, virile pose. A man 
who carries himself in that way, who thinks of himself in that way, 
keeps young; and we may well believe that this is the very John 
Frazee of that time. One feels that it would have been a pleasure 
to know this admirable man. 



36 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

At this distance an estimate of Frazee's influence is of necessity 
largely surmise. He was not a leader, but a gifted plodder. Unlike 
William Rush, he was no organizer : he founded nothing, and appears 
to have had no pupils. Nor was his social position such as to cast 
much glamour on the art which he personally graced so well. His 
wide-scattered works have had their powerful appeal in the direction 
of dignity and honest workmanship. They were always striking, 
and in that day must have appeared strangely impressive. Of John 
Frazee, as much as of any sculptor, it may be said that he lived up 
to the measure of his capability: he did his best. 

Although not exactly sculpture, in the strictest sense of the term, 
the busts which were produced by John Henri Isaac Browere, in 
1825 and succeeding years, were more than clever life masks. 
Browere, who was born in New York in 1792, had decidedly artistic 
leanings, and even visited Europe with the intention of preparing 
for a sculptor's career. However, his professional education seems 
to have consisted largely in " tramping " for two years over the Con- 
tinent, and when, in 1820, he returned to the United States, his 
talent developed — perhaps fortunately — upon the inventive side. 
His busts of distinguished Americans, made by a process of his 
own, are not only precious as human documents, but are often 
admirable in pose and in expression, — results, to some degree, of 
sculptural knowledge. 






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to r nning per?'. 

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their ilusr 

but this 

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summary 



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. 

?ome of 
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s before, and i 
s gigantic statue of V 
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.MOTOH1H8AW .HOTOWH8AW : HOUOM33HO 






PLATE II. 
GREENOUGH: WASHINGTON, WASHINGTON. 



CHAPTER II 

GREENOUGH AND HIS TIMES 

A study of the early records of American art introduces one 
to many winning personalities, men of exalted ideals and beautiful 
lives, whom we would fain know better. Sometimes, we must 
acknowledge, it seems as if these were the very qualities which give 
them remoteness, which make their illusive features so unfamiliar; 
but this view is doubtless a mistaken one. Certain it is, at any 
rate, that there is a strange courtliness and sweetness in some of 
the faces which have receded so far into the shadows of history's 
tarnished frames ; and though many, like the silhouettes of their day, 
offer us but the barest outlines, we can detect a great distinction in 
their summary contours. We are drawn to them, and prize every 
detail which develops the picture. 

When Dunlap published, in 1834, his " Arts of Design," the most 
successful representative of the sculptor's art in the United States 
was John Frazee ; but the rising luminary was Horatio Greenough, 
who had gone abroad some eight years before, and now, at the age 
of twenty-nine, was just beginning his gigantic statue of Washing- 
ton. These, with William Rush, were the only American sculptors 
whom Mr. Dunlap seems to have known, or at least to have con- 
sidered worthy of mention. It was in that same year that young 
Crawford, a boy of twenty, sailed for Rome. Hiram Powers had 
just begun to " find himself," and was busy with portrait busts in the 
West, but was not able to embark for Italy until three years later. 
Ball Hughes was at work upon his short-lived statue of Hamilton, 
and H. K. Brown was a student of painting in Boston ; while several 
bright-eyed, barefooted boys, in various parts of the country, were 
bird-nesting and playing " shinney " quite unconscious of the destiny 
which should write their names as leaders of American art. 

37 



38 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

The fullest and most sympathetic account of Greenough will be 
found in Tuckerman's " Book of the Artists." x The critical esti- 
mates of the author awaken a smile to-day, for his friendship sees 
no faults; but while very often he "enters into a poetical enthu- 
siasm from which he cannot stoop to commonplace details," yet his 
moral standard is always so high, his enthusiasm so genuine, and his 
pleasure in spinning out sonorous eulogies so boyishly frank, that 
one dips into his book with relish and comes to love his heroes 
regardless of their significance in the development of our national 
art. Greenough's contribution was significant, however, and of vast 
consequence, though in a way very different from that in which 
Tuckerman apprehended it. The first American deliberately choos- 
ing sculpture as a profession, and going abroad for serious study, he 
gave the art an importance in the eyes of his countrymen which 
it never had before — an importance greatly strengthened by the 
fortunate circumstances of his own attractions and social position. 
Greenough was not only a man of fair ability as a sculptor, but a 
ready writer who could take up the cudgels most effectively, though 
sometimes, it must be confessed, with a trifle too much vehemence 
for the best results. His art was with him a passion, a religion ; 
and while his distance from home clothed his work with mystery, — 
a mystery not often illuminated by intelligible utterances in what 
might be called sculptural vernacular, — he never did aught which 
could lower the profession in the eyes of the world. To the end he 
felt himself its high priest in a new land, and kept his hieratic vest- 
ments as unsullied as the marble which he carved. Art had an awe- 
some, if factitious, exaltation in those days. Its exemplars were men 
of distinction, who took themselves most seriously, who looked for 
and received extreme consideration. There was much about them 
which we might call " pose " to-day, but which was sincerity and even 
simplicity itself in that age of ponderous elegance. Greenough and 
Crawford upheld the dignity of their art, as did Bryant and Long- 
fellow that of the poetic muse. 

Genius has very promiscuous tastes, insisting more often than 
not in making its cradle in humble cottages, while perversely neg- 
lecting long city blocks of the "best families"! In this first 

1 " Book of the Artists," by Henry T. Tuckerman, New York, 1867. 



GREENOUGH AND HIS TIMES 39 

instance, however, Providence made no mistake ; for as soon after 
Sept. 6, 1805, as the newly born Horatio was able to recognize 
his surroundings, he must have observed with satisfaction that 
he was in a well-to-do household. Later — considerably later — he 
found himself in pleasant relations with the most cultivated people 
of Boston. " His father," wrote Mr. Tuckerman in 1853, "belonged 
to that respected class of merchants whose integrity, enterprise, and 
intelligence, half a century ago, justly gave them a degree of consid- 
eration which is almost unknown at the present day. Comparatively 
few in number, and active in the political and social life of the 
town, they almost created public opinion, and were remarkable for 
individuality of character, not less than a tone of mind above and 
beyond the mere spirit of trade. This was evinced in the careful 
manner in which their children were brought up, and the intel- 
lectual privileges afforded them, the sacred interest attached to home, 
and the superiority of the local schools. The mother of Greenough 
was a native of Massachusetts, endowed with the conscientious affec- 
tion and vigorous intellect that are so honorable a distinction of the 
genuine New England matron. He was one of several children, and 
shared with them the education both of public and private semi- 
naries and of the domestic circle." : But such advantages can hardly 
explain the genesis of our first sculptor. If there was much refine- 
ment in the life and manners of Boston at this time, and a sufficient 
familiarity with good paintings, as well as with literature and music, 
there was almost nothing to suggest the unfamiliar profession. As 
our author observes, " Only a strong, natural bias could have so early 
directed Greenough's aspirations toward art." 

At this point in his account a large portion of Mr. Tuckerman 's 
material is evidently borrowed from a letter written to Mr. Dunlap 
in 1833 or 1834, by Henry Greenough, a brother of the sculptor. 2 To 
work over this authentic document yet again in paraphrase seems 
unnecessary and by no means advantageous, when the original words 
are so directly to the point. Dunlap's book is not within reach of 
every hand, and the reader will be pleased to gain so intimate an 
impression of the then promising young artist who has now lain for 
half a century in his grave. There is something infinitely pathetic 

1 '■ Book of the Artists," p. 248. 2 " Arts of Design," Vol. II, p. 412. 



4 o THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

in these personal portrayals of the ambitions and affections of a day 
long dead. 

The first part of the letter begins with the request to the editor to 
"prune with an unsparing hand," since the sculptor would wish 
that the notice " might be confined as far as possible to a few facts 
and dates." Greenough is also quoted as having written deprecat- 
ingly : " A note to Allston's life might tell all of me which is essen- 
tial. What is the use of blowing up bladders for posterity to jump 
upon, for the mere pleasure of hearing them crack ? " Much is said 
in description of the early childish carvings ; of swords and pistols, 
of tiny horses and carriages, "with wheels no larger than a cent," 
and also of an extraordinary memory compassing thousands of lines 
of poetry ; but the real interest begins with the youth's first inspira- 
tion toward sculpture. 

The letter proceeds : " I have often heard him attribute his first 
wish to attempt something like sculpture to having constantly be- 
fore his eyes a marble statue of Phocion, a copy of the antique, which 
my father caused to be placed, with its pedestal, as an ornament 
to a mound in the garden. His first attempts were made in chalk 
on account of its whiteness and softness. He soon attempted ala- 
baster, or rather rock plaster of Paris (unburnt), with equal success ; 
and within a few weeks of his first attempt he had been so assidu- 
ous as to transform his chamber to a regular museum, where rows 
of miniature busts, carved from engravings, were ranged on little 
pine shelves. I recollect, in particular, a little chalk statue of Will- 
iam Penn, which he copied from an engraving in the Portfolio 
from the bronze statue in Philadelphia. 1 A gentleman who saw him 
copying, in chalk, the bust of John Adams by Binon, was so pleased 
with his success, that he carried him to the Athenaeum and pre- 
sented him to Mr. Shaw, I believe the first founder of the institution, 
and at that time the sole director. My brother was then about 

1 The Portfolio for October. 1816. The figure is not of bronze, but of lead. The article 
accompanying the engraving says : " The statue was originally erected at the seat of the late 
Lord Le Despencer, near High Wycomb. in England. The statue was alienated, and the 
pedestal was suffered to decay. It was afterward purchased by one of the proprietor's grand- 
sons and presented to the Pennsylvania Hospital." The grandson in question was John 
Penn. who presented the statue to the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, in 1804. This 
curious work still stands in front of the Hospital, at Eighth and Pine streets. The author is 
unknown. 



GREENOUGH AND HIS TIMES 4 1 

twelve years old, and of course was much edified by Mr. Shaw's con- 
versation, who assured him, as he held the chalk in his hand, that 
there were the germs of a great and noble art. He then showed 
him the casts there, and promising him he should always find a bit 
of carpet to cut his chalk upon whenever he wished to copy any- 
thing, gave him a carte blanche to the ' fine arts ' room, with its 
valuable collection of engravings, etc. He may be considered from 
this time as studying with something like a definite purpose and 
with some system. The friendship of Mr. Solomon Willard of 
Boston soon initiated him into the mysteries of modelling in clay, 
which he had unsuccessfully endeavored to acquire from directions in 
the ' Edinburgh Cyclopedia ' ; and Mr. Alpheus Cary, a stone-cutter 
of Boston, gave him a similar insight into the manner of carving 
marble, so as soon to enable him to realize his wishes in the shape 
of a bust of Bacchus. He profited much also by the friendship 
of Mr. Binon, a French artist then in Boston, going daily to his 
rooms and modelling in his company. 

" His progress was so rapid that his father no longer opposed 
his devoting most of his time to these pursuits, insisting only on 
his graduating at Harvard University, Cambridge, on the ground 
that if he continued in his determination, a college education would 
only the better fit him for an artist's life. He accordingly entered 
college at the age of sixteen, a.d. 1821. His time was now almost 
exclusively devoted to reading works of art, and in drawing and 
modelling, and the study of anatomy. Professor Cogswell, the li- 
brarian of the university, assisted him in the former by a loan of a 
valuable collection of original drawings, as well as by his counsel 
and criticisms ; and to Dr. George Parkman of Boston he was in- 
debted for most of his anatomical knowledge learned from his books, 
skeletons, and preparations. . . . Notwithstanding the benefit he 
must be sensible of having derived from his studies at Cambridge, I 
have heard him say he estimated them little in comparison to what 
he obtained from the friendship of Mr. W. Allston, whose acquaint- 
ance he made at the house of Mr. Edmund Dana, the brother of 
Mr. R. Dana, the poet. With Mr. Allston much of his time dur- 
ing his junior and senior years was spent. By him his ideas of his 
art were elevated, and his endeavors directed to a proper path. 



42 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

" Toward the close of the senior year, a vessel being about to 
sail for Marseilles, he obtained permission from the government of 
the college to leave before the usual time, and his diploma was for- 
warded to him afterwards. He arrived at Marseilles in the first of 
the autumn, and proceeded directly by land to Rome. This was 
in 1825. The unbounded facilities afforded by Rome to a young 
artist enabled him to carry into effect the plans of study he had 
formed under Mr. Allston's advice. His mornings were devoted to 
making careful drawings of the antique; his afternoons to modelling 
from the life some subject of his own composition, which enabled 
him to exert his invention, and bring into play the practice of the 
morning; and his evenings to drawing from the Nudo at the Acad- 
emy. Having letters to Thorwaldsen, he was enabled to profit by 
the visits which he so readily pays to young artists, to improve them 
by his criticism, or encourage by approbation. My brother often 
says, however, that in the mechanical part of the art he learnt most 
from young fellow-students. . . . 

" He had made many studies in chalks, i.e. crayons and 
clays, and besides several busts of the size of life had finished 
a model of a statue of Abel in Rome (1825-1826), when his 
studies were unfortunately suspended for a year or more by his 
taking the malaria a little before the termination of his first year 
(1826). 

" The effects of this illness were so severe as to oblige him to 
return to America, after having made an excursion to Naples in 
company with some friends, who had kindly taken charge of him, 
but without any benefit to his health. He accordingly sailed from 
Leghorn for Boston, where he arrived in perfect health, his sea- 
sickness and consequent benefit of the sea air having done for him 
what medicine had been unable to effect. 

"About a year was now passed by him in America, the first 
five or six months at home with his father's family, where his 
time was spent in drawing and modelling. At the beginning of 
the winter he left home for the purpose of modelling the bust of 
President J. O. Adams at Washington ; besides the bust of Adams, 
he also modelled a likeness of Chief Justice Marshall, and on his 
way home modelled one or two busts in Baltimore. 



GREENOUGH AND HIS TIMES 43 

" Soon after returning from Washington, he made arrange- 
ments for returning to Italy, for the purpose of executing in marble 
the several models for which he had commissions, and accordingly 
left us in the month of March, 1827. From Gibraltar and Mar- 
seilles he proceeded directly to Carrara, where he remained three 
months or more, during which time he finished two busts and saw 
others prepared. His design in thus settling at Carrara was, I 
believe, for the purpose of making himself thoroughly acquainted 
with all the details of preparing and finishing works of sculpture ; 
for which Carrara, being the grand workshop of the Italian sculp- 
tors, gave him every opportunity. 

" His next remove was to Florence, which he had fixed upon 
as his headquarters, on account of the advantages in the study of 
his art and its healthiness. During his first year there he be- 
came in a manner the pupil of Bartolini, whom he still considers 
the first portrait sculptor in existence. A marble Venus in the 
possession of Lord Londonderry has made the name of Bartolini 
deservedly honored in England. His time, since then, has been 
fully occupied in the execution of commissions from his country- 
men. These works are nearly all in America, and two of them are 
more generally known, having been exhibited, namely, the group 
of the ' Chanting Cherubs,' belonging to J. Fenimore Cooper, and 
the ' Medora,' belonging to Mr. R. Gilmor of Baltimore. With the 
exception of one winter spent in Paris, where he modelled busts of 
General Lafayette, Mr. Cooper, and one or two other individuals, 
his time has been spent altogether in Florence. 

" He is now almost exclusively occupied in the execution of 
the statue of Washington for Congress, only recreating himself 
occasionally by attending to smaller works." 

The story of the " Chanting Cherubs " is interesting because it 
ushers in the first marble group by an American sculptor. We 
must allow Mr. Dunlap to tell about it: — 

" Some of the young ladies of Mr. Cooper's family, in the course 
of their studies, were copying a print from a picture of Raphael, 
in which were two cherubs singing. Fenimore saw with regret 
the neglect Greenough experienced, and was convinced that if he 
had an opportunity of executing a figure, or, still more to show his 



44 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

powers, a group, it would bring him into notice; and the thought 
of the chanting cherubs struck him as a group of great beauty 
and suited to Greenough's taste. He gave him the order, and 
the young sculptor, only having the print before him, which the 
young ladies had been copying, produced the lovely group which 
we have seen. The effect of raising a name for Horatio Greenough 
was produced ; and to produce a greater effect, by convincing 
Americans that they had a countryman superior in talent and skill 
to the Italians they were employing, Cooper sent the group home 
to be exhibited. This is the first group from the chisel of an 
American artist." l 

This glimpse of the pioneer novelist is far more gracious than 
certain others in his ruffled career. He followed up his kindness 
by publishing a letter upon Greenough and the group in the New 
York American of Apr. 30, 183 1, in which we are told, in an 
earnest plea for an original and national art, that the group was 
taken from Raphael's "Madonna del Trono," in the Pitti Palace; 
but Mr. Cooper explains that the artist changed things so much 
as to make the group practically his own, having " little more aid 
from the original than he derived from the idea," and adding, 
with far-sighted discernment, " Perhaps the authority of Raphael 
was necessary to render such a representation of the subject pala- 
table in our day." Dunlap's quotation from the letter concludes 
with these words, " I hope that the peculiarity of its being the 
first work of the kind which has come from an American chisel, 
as well as the rare merit of the artist, will be found to interest 
the public at home." 

The story of the storm which broke over the defenceless heads 
of the little undraped cherubs is one of the amusing traditions of 
American art. Puritan decency was shocked by their nude baby 
forms, and ominous mutterings were heard on every side. Although 
we have no record of Cooper's instituting a lawsuit, as was his 
genial custom, the bitterness of the controversy is proved by 
Greenough's truculent reply to his critics. The group has disap- 
peared from view, but a later work, somewhat similar in conception, 
and doubtless suggested by the "Cherubs," is the "Angel and Child" 

1 "Arts of Design," Vol. II, p. 419- 




FIG. 4.— GREENOUGH: THE RESCUE, WASHINGTON. 



GREENOUGH AND HIS TIMES 47 

in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, described by Mr. Tuckerman 
with misplaced eloquence as follows : " Its conception is singularly 
beautiful, and it is realized to the life. The artist's idea was to rep- 
resent a child received and guided by its angel companion into the 
mysterious glories of heaven. The difference between the human 
and the spiritual is exhibited in the baby outline of the child, rounded, 
natural, and real, — and the mature celestial grace of the angel, — his 
look of holy courage and his attitude of cheer, while the reverence 
and timidity of his newly arrived brother are equally obvious." 1 At 
which point the writer's enthusiasm becomes metrical. But the 
work is hardly so important as one might think from the descrip- 
tion. In the presence of the group to-day one might imagine it 
merely an illustration of two babes, — for both figures are of the 
same size, — one helping the other to walk. 

In the same upper hall of the Boston Museum is a bust of Napo- 
leon signed by Greenough ; also his Flaxman-like relief of " Castor 
and Pollux" with its curiously conventional horse. Downstairs one 
sees his bust of Hamilton, which is not strong, though probably a 
good portrait. The monotonous hair seems to have been ploughed 
by machinery. Most singular of all, to modern taste, is a small 
" Cupid Bound," of inflated physique. The little god is secured 
by a chain of costly workmanship. His confinement is solaced by 
the presence of a tiny but elaborate owl, and his head is crowned 
with a profusion of curls like marble watchsprings. 

But if many of Greenough's perfunctory works are amusing 
to us to-day rather than impressive, the sculptor disarms our criti- 
cism by his frank modesty. He writes under date of Dec. 1, 1833, 
to Dunlap, the story of his struggles : " I thank you for the 
opinion you express of what little I have done in the art of sculp- 
ture ; I have not yet had the time to do much. I fear that the 
circumstances under which I began my career will ever prevent 
me realizing my idea of what sculpture should be. Still, the 
effort may be useful to future artists, and yield some works of 
a relative and special value. I cannot pretend to occupy any space 
in a work consecrated to American art. Sculpture, when I left 
home, was practised nowhere, to my knowledge, in the United 

1 " Book of the Artists," p. 258. 



48 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

States. I learned the first rudiments of modelling from a French- 
man, named Binon, who resided long in Boston. My friends op- 
posed my studying the art, but gently, reasonably, and kindly. 
It would require more time than you would find it profitable to 
spend to listen to the thousand accidents that shaped my inclina- 
tion to the study of this art. I might perhaps interest you more by 
mentioning the many instances in which I have been comforted, 
assisted, advised, induced, in short, to persevere in it, by acquaint- 
ances and friends. I could tell you of the most generous efforts to 
assist me, on the part of men who scarcely knew me, of the most 
flattering and encouraging notice by elegant and accomplished 
women; but I might hurt or offend those who have so kindly 
helped me, and (what I shrink from also for myself) I fear there 
would be a fearful disproportion between the seed and the fruit. 

" Mr. Cogswell, who now keeps an academy at Northampton, con- 
tributed perhaps more than any one to fix my purpose, and supplied 
me with casts, etc., to nurse my fondness of statuary. Allston, in 
the sequel, was to me a father, in what concerned my progress of 
every kind. He taught me first how to discriminate — how to 
think — how to feel. Before I knew him I felt strongly but blindly, 
as it were ; and if I should never pass mediocrity, I should attribute 
it to my absence from him. So adapted did he seem to kindle and 
enlighten me, making me no longer myself, but, as it were, an 
emanation of his own soul. 

" Dr. J. Parkman, during my sophomore year, proposed to assist 
me in obtaining some knowledge of anatomy. He supplied me with 
bones, preparations, etc., every week ; as also with such books as I 
could not get from the college library. He not only continued this 
kindness during the three years of my remaining college life, but lent 
me generous assistance in forwarding my studies by travel. I began 
to study art in Rome in 1S26. Until then I had rather amused 
myself with clay and marble than studied. When I say that those 
materials were familiar to my touch, I say all that I profited by my 
boyish efforts. They were rude. I lived with poets and poetry, and 
could not then see that my art was to be studied from folk who eat 
their three meals ever}' day. I gazed at the 'Apollo' and the 'Venus,' 
and learned very little by it. It was not till I ran through all the 



GREENOUGH AND HIS TIMES 



49 



galleries and studios of Rome, and had had under my eye the genial 
forms of Italy, that I began to feel nature's value. I had before 
adored her, but as a Persian does the sun, with my face to the earth. 
I then began to examine her, and entered on that course of study 
in which I am still toiling. 

" Fenimore Cooper saved me from despair after my second return 
to Italy. He employed me as I wished to be employed ; and has, up 
to this moment, been a father to me in kindness. That I ever shall 
answer all the expectations of my friends is impossible ; but no duty, 
thank God ! extends beyond his means. I sigh for a little intercourse 
with you, gentlemen, at home. I long to be among you, but I am 
anchored here for the next four years. I will not risk a voyage before 
my statue is done. I think it my duty not to run away at the first 
sight of the enemy. 

" When I went, the other morning, into the huge room in which 
I propose to execute my statue, I felt like a spoilt boy, who, after 
insisting upon riding on horseback, bawls aloud with fright at find- 
ing himself in the saddle, so far from the ground ! I hope, however, 
that this will wear off." 1 

Incidents in the progress of the Lafayette bust, elsewhere re- 
ferred to, are given in considerable detail by Mr. Cooper himself 
in a long letter in Dunlap's book. His comparison of Greenough's 
"Lafayette" with a portrait by David d' Angers is entertaining. "The 
bust of David is like, it cannot be mistaken, but it is in his ordinary 
manner, heroic or poetical. The artist has aimed more at a senti- 
ment than at fidelity of portraiture or nature. On the other hand, 
the bust of Greenough is the very man, and should be dear to us in 
proportion as it is faithful. As Lafayette himself expressed it, one 
is a French bust, the other an American."' 2 

Greenough's timidity in beginning the " Washington," which 
through the efforts of Cooper had been ordered by Congress, was 
but too well justified. His fright did "wear off" in time; but had 
the sensitive young man foreseen the lack of sympathy which was 
to be his reward, the derision which was to be heaped upon the 
results of his consecrated toil, he might well have withdrawn from 
the struggle and died of chagrin. How sensitive he really was 

1 "Arts of Design," Vol. II, p. 421. 2 Ibid., p. 424. 

E 



5<D THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

and how conscious of his own deficiencies is illustrated by an 
incident of his first journey. Arriving in Genoa, he entered a 
church where amid a wealth of sculptures he saw a statue more 
beautiful than any he had ever looked upon. Lost in admiration, 
it was some time before he finally noticed that the crowds hurried 
by without a glance. The thought that such unattainable per- 
fection was an everyday affair in Italy convinced him that he was 
presumptuous in aspiring to accomplish anything worthy of the 
art. " He was deeply moved as the distance between himself and 
the goal he had fondly hoped to reach widened to his view; and 
concealing himself among the rubbish of a palace yard, the young 
and ardent exile sought relief in tears." ! 

The history of Greenough's " Washington " is one of bitter dis- 
appointments, and it ended — so far as the artist was concerned — 
in tragedy. This final blow was not the rejection nor the destruc- 
tion of the work, but its sentence to stand forever in the pillory 
of public ridicule. It was and is worthy of a better fate. The city 
of Washington has many worse figures which escape censure 
through their mediocrity. Few, indeed, of the sculptures of the 
Capitol reveal so noble an intention as does this much maligned 
work (PI. II). Greenough conceived it on a very high plane; 
he labored on it for nearly eight years, and the execution is digni- 
fied and workmanlike, if not masterful. Of it the artist wrote in 
words freighted with an emotion which to-day seems deeply pa- 
thetic: "-It is the birth of my thought. I have sacrificed to it the 
flower of my days and the freshness of my strength; its every 
lineament has been moistened by the sweat of my toil and the tears 
of my exile. I would not barter away its association with my name 
for the proudest fortune that avarice ever dreamed." 2 

Alas for human foresight ! Fashion has changed in regard to 
portrait statues since those days. Warriors and heroes are now pic- 
tured in their own clothes like other people. Canova's nude " Na- 
poleon " and Greenough's half-draped " Washington " are curiosities; 
the sculptor's reverent ideal is forgotten in our sense of the incon- 
gruous. Greenough felt that America's greatest citizen, the Father 
of his Country, was worthy of apotheosis, and with dim vision of the 

1 " Book of the Artists." p. 254. 2 Ibid., p. 262. 



GREENOUGH AND HIS TIMES 



51 



Olympian Zeus regnant in his pillared sanctuary, he conceived his 
" Washington " as a majestic, godlike figure enthroned beneath the 
vaulted arch of the Capitol and gilded by the filtered rays of far-fall- 
ing sunlight. The conception was exalted, grandiose, and in another 
time or with a more imaginative people might have succeeded. But 
the sculptor was not adequate for the work which he had dreamed, 
nor had he control of certain 
essential details of his mz'se en 
scene. 

The ponderous figure 
reached this country in 1843, 
after many perils by sea and 
by land, and had attained the 
very gates of the Capitol when 
it was found to be too large 
for passage. The doorway was 
temporarily widened, and the 
figure entered its haven of rest. 
Now came the crowning diffi- 
culty and final defeat. It was 
found that the immense mass 
of stone was too heavy for the 
floor, which trembled and set- 
tled at its approach. The 
statue was hastily withdrawn, 
and, although a sufficient foun- 
dation in the lower story would 
not seem a difficult problem of 
engineering, it was apparently 
never attempted. The evicted giant was set up outside, opposite 
the eastern front of the Capitol, to view like another Moses the 
promised land from afar. And there he stands to-day, exposed 
to the elements, and, still worse, to the newspaper paragraphers. 
They are pitiless. One of them wrote one day that Washington 
was supposed to be saying, as he pointed in two directions, "My 
body is at Mount Vernon, my clothes are in the Patent Office." 
W'hoever looks at the figure repeats the legend to his neighbor, 




Fig. 5. — Greenough: Angel Abdiel, 
Art Institute, Chicago. 



52 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

and they laugh together. Poor Greenough ; how little did he 
understand the generation to come, or even his own ! 

However, the statue was not by any means without friends. 
Edward Everett wrote of it from Italy in 1841 : — 

" I regard Greenough's ' Washington ' as one of the greatest 
works of sculpture of modern times. I do not know the work 
which can justly be preferred to it, whether we consider the purity 
of the taste, the loftiness of the conception, the truth of the character, 
or, what we must own we feel less able to judge of, the accuracy of 
anatomical study and mechanical skill." 

That the sculptor was grievously disappointed at its final location 
is shown by the following extract from a letter written while the 
question of site was pending : — 

" Had I been ordered to make a statue for any square or similar 
situation at the metropolis, I should have represented Washington 
on horseback and in his actual dress. I would have made my work 
purely an historical one. I have treated my subject poetically, and 
confess I should feel pain at seeing it placed in direct and flagrant 
contrast with evervdav life. Moreover, I modelled the figure with- 
out reference to an exposure to rain and frost, so that there are 
many parts of the statue where the water would collect and soon 
disintegrate and rot the stone, if it did not by freezing split off large 
fragments of the draper}'." 1 

Speaking of its reception, he remarks : — 

" Allow me to exult a little that, during the months I spent at 
Washington, while my statue was the butt of wiseacres and witlings, 
I never in word or thought swerved from my principle — that the 
general mind is alone a quorum to judge a great work. When in 
future time the true sculptors of America have filled the metropolis 
with beauty and grandeur, will it not be worth $30,000 to be able 
to point to the figure and say, ' There was the first struggle of our 
infant art ' ? " 2 

The "Washington" is of colossal size, being a figure which 

would stand nearly or quite twelve feet high if erect. Its lower 

limbs are covered with a loose draper}', which is carried up over the 

horizontal right arm, and hangs in rigid folds. The forearm is 

1 "Book of the Artists," 1 p. 261. 2 Ibid., p. 262. 



- GREENOUGH AND HIS TIMES 53 

lifted squarely, and a finger points upward. The left hand is 
extended, holding a Roman sword reversed. The surface treatment 
is generally hard, and, in the face and other details, somewhat 
meagre. The gesture of the left arm is ample and dignified, while 
that of the right is angular. The equal emphasis of the two is 
unfortunate. 

The seat is a massive arm-chair of antique form, the sides of 
which are decorated with bas-reliefs. The subject of one is the 
infant Hercules strangling the serpent in his cradle ; that of the 
other, Apollo guiding the four steeds that draw the chariot of 
the sun. The back of the chair is of open work. At the left corner 
is placed a small statue of Columbus, holding in his hand a sphere, 
which he studies ; at the right corner is a similar small statue of an 
Indian chief. 

True to its time, the monument bears a Latin inscription : — 

" Simulacrum istud 

Ad magnum Libertatis exemplum 

Nee sine ipsa duraturum 

Horatius Greenough 

Faciebat." 

No one to-day calls the figure "truly sublime," as did its first 
partisans ; but the nobility of the subject and the reverence of the 
artist are attested by every faithful chisel stroke. Properly elevated 
within the rotunda of the Capitol, in the temple for which it was 
designed, the statue would doubtless regain much of the majesty of 
Greenough's vision. 

As now situated, the " Washington" confronts another of Green- 
ough's audacious efforts. Upon the two buttresses which project 
from the portico on either side of the main stairway of the Capitol 
are two large groups in marble. Perhaps it is by courtesy alone 
that one of these extraordinary relics of our early art may be called 
a group; the absurd "Columbus," by Signor Persico, with its at- 
tendant Indian maid, is hardly to be thus classified. Of Persico we 
know little, except that it was in 1846 that he commemorated his 
great countryman for the sum of $24,000; and that he also embel- 
lished the pediment above with a lonesome " Genius of America," 
designed by John Quincy Adams, whose inspiration failed him at 



54 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

the third figure, leaving America "surrounded" by Hope and Justice 
and emptiness. 

The decoration of the other buttress was awarded to Greenough; 
and while his success was not brilliant, viewed by the standard of to- 
day, he had at least a sculptural motive and produced a work which 
one regards with respectful curiosity. As the " Columbus " is sup- 
posed to personify' Discovery, this group, called "The Rescue" (Fig. 
4), typifies Civilization, or Settlement. It was designed in 1837, and 
completed in the marble in 1S57. It shows a pioneer hunter in a 
strange, half-classic costume, rescuing his wife and child from a 
savage who has just raised his tomahawk to murder them. The 
hunter has seized his enemy from behind, and holds his arms in a 
powerful grip. The nude form of the Indian, bent backward, is 
well conceived, and combines admirably with the forward movement 
of his antagonist. The crouching woman and child really form 
a second group, but are effectively handled in a broad, simple 
way, and are far from uninteresting. A large dog on the oppo- 
site side shows a singular impartiality, watching the struggle 
quietly and without prejudice. While on the whole more ambi- 
tious than successful, this work shows an artistic intention and 
no little ability, united with much courage. For it took courage 
to do such things in those days. The " Washington " was the 
first colossal marble carved by an American, " The Rescue " the 
second. 

Among Greenough 's ideal works were the " Medora," already 
mentioned, a "Venus Victrix," and an "Abel," also an "Angel 
Abdiel" (Fig. 5). We are assured on better authority than Tucker- 
man that his busts of Washington, Lafayette, John Ouincy Adams, 
and Fenimore Cooper were " refined and excellent." The " Adams " 
is in the rooms of the New York Historical Society. It is a bust 
which conveys at a distance a certain impression of nobility, en- 
hanced rather than diminished by the display of unclothed shoulders. 
Upon closer examination the work seems lacking in individuality. 
One feels that with a generalization so broad it must have been very 
easy to make busts. Yet it is a strong, fine mask, all ready for 
eyes and life. The hair is of course the product of an inexorable 
chisel. 



GREENOUGH AND HIS TIMES 55 

In summing up the contribution of this admirable man it must 
be acknowledged that he is more interesting than is his work, and 
the fact that he did is more important than what he did. He was 
sympathetic and delighted in the discovery of talent, and an indefati- 
gable " promoter " for others as well as for himself. But he was also 
the first of our sculptors to lay himself upon the Procrustean couch 
of a dead classicism. Whether he was too big or too little for the 
uncomfortable bed, matters not to-day. Perhaps his New England 
inheritance, so scantily nourished on the plastic side, was stretched 
to ineffectual attenuation in order to fill it ; perhaps, on the other 
hand, the most precious and vital qualities of his artistic nature 
were lopped off to conform to the standard which Canova and Thor- 
waldsen had imposed upon the world. At any rate, he did conform, 
and so thoroughly, — like the many who came after him, — that one 
scans his work in vain for a personal note. 

Passionately fond of his country, a thinker, a lover of freedom, — 
not only political, but mental and spiritual, — a friend and disciple of 
Emerson, " demanding the genuine, independent, individual man 
in exchange for the disguised and dependent puppet of the world, 
. . . defending American art, . . . opposing academies as positive 
hindrances to advancement," ardent and fertile of fancy, he neverthe- 
less presents the paradox of an artist without artistic personality; a 
sculptor who left behind him not one work tinged with emotion, not 
one» marble stanza vibrant with poetic fire. There is perhaps a deeper 
significance than was intended in his biographer's kindly comment 
on his habitual generosity: "His recognition was not limited to 
achievement, but extended to latent powers. He was one of that 
invaluable minority whose perception goes beneath the surface of 
character and the accidents of expression ; and perhaps of all his 
friends he valued chiefly ' the poet who never wrote.' " 1 

Even less need we look in Greenough's fettered art for a hint of 
a national expression, excepting as in its absence we find the very 
strongest expression of conditions. Greenough produced nothing 
that might not have been done, better or worse, but in exactly the 
same spirit, by any sculptor of whatsoever nationality then living in 
Italy. In sculpture and painting, as well as in literature, our awaken- 

1 " Book of the Artists," p. 274. 



56 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

ing national consciousness " strove to prove our country civilized by 
conscientious obedience to eldest civilized tradition." 

Greenough died — all too early — Dec. 18, 1852, having removed 
to this country the year before on account of political troubles 
in Florence. It is pleasant to record that in spite of the disap- 
pointments of his life, one of his last letters contained this pas- 
sage : " I would not pass away and not leave a sign that I, for one, 
born by the grace of God in this land, found life a cheerful thing, 
and not that sad and dreadful task with whose prospect they scared 
my youth." 



The second name on t 
:hat of Hiram Powers, 
and even some months e:; . 
to his brother-artist, who 
Powers had guessed his o 

The contrasts of the 
striking as the resultant 
home of affluence, in i 

no statue of Phocioi 
outskirts of Woodst 
was generously abi 
of those early scene 
Italian garde 
him hun 

e are told th 
and affe> 
childho 
While 1 



rofessional sculr 

ith Greenough, 
■jdes priiv 



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e as 





1 lenient. 


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Even the [ 
Trid landscapes 
untains of his native state, 
t large family, fruga 
nted it a special blessin 
honest and harmonic 
the family emigrated west 
York state, and ultimately to Cincinnati. The y 
ment of various sorts — in a reading room, as 
and finally in a clock factoiw. For the latter work h 
special aptitude, but it ga before another 

--covered — no one to-day kn This 

to model faces. 
will surprise many to learn that tl 






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H2AW .Y533JJAO MAHC , 










POWERS: GREEK S 



PLATE III. 
LAVE. CORCORAN GALLERY, WASHINGTON. 



CHAPTER III 

HIRAM POWERS AND THE "GREEK SLAVE" 

The second name on the list of our native professional sculptors 
is that of Hiram Powers. Born in the same year with Greenough, 
and even some months earlier, — July 29, 1S05, — he cedes primacy 
to his brother-artist, who began the study of sculpture long before 
Powers had guessed his own proper vocation. 

The contrasts of the early surroundings of the two were as 
striking as the resultant personalities. Powers was born in no 
home of affluence, in no centre of culture and refinement. There 
was no statue of Phocion in front of the modest farmhouse on the 
outskirts of Woodstock, Vermont. But if art was lacking, nature 
was generously abundant. Throughout his long life the beauty 
of those early scenes never forsook the artist. Even the grace of 
Italian gardens, the historic splendor of Old World landscapes, left 
him hungry for a vision of the mountains of his native state. 

We are told that he was " one of a large family, frugal, laborious, 
and affectionate," and that he " accounted it a special blessing of his 
childhood to have been reared by honest and harmonious parents." 
While Powers was still a boy the family emigrated westward, first to 
New York state, and ultimately to Cincinnati. The youth found 
employment of various sorts — in a reading room, as a collector, 
and finally in a clock factory. For the latter work he showed a 
special aptitude, but it gave way before another talent which was 
soon discovered — no one to-day knows just how. This was the 
ability to model faces. 

It will surprise many to learn that there were dime museums in 
those times, — those early years which we imagine to have been so 
deficient in the privileges of a ripe civilization, — but such an insti- 
tution, or its equivalent, existed even in the almost frontier city of 

57 



58 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Cincinnati. Its enterprising proprietor learned of the lad's remark- 
able gift, and for benefits mutual offered him steady employment in 
the "property room." His particular function was to model wax 
images and to breathe the breath of life into them by means of in- 
genious clock-work devices. The immediate success of these jerky 
figures beckoned to higher flights, and soon young Powers was en- 
gaged upon a comprehensive " Inferno," with more or less of an apology 
to Dante. This " great moral exhibition," while not exactly on the 
lines of, say, M. Rodin's later work, was admirably suited to the public 
demand. It must have been something fearful, for we read that it 
was immensely popular, and had to be closed finally because of its 
very success, the impressionable ladies of Cincinnati flocking thither 
and swooning, apparently in windrows, before its realistic terrors. 

But there were other objects of interest besides these imaginative 
excursions. A more temperate art was exemplified in the portraits 
of celebrities ; and here, in " catching a likeness," the young man 
showed himself even more clever. Henceforth his path of develop- 
ment was obvious. " The manifest ability of Powers in these waxen 
models led by a natural and almost necessary transition to his 
experiments in a more durable material, and for a higher end." As 
for training, there was a short period when he and H. K. Brown and 
Clevenger all worked together in Cincinnati, aiding each other and 
gathering such instruction as they could from a German modeller 
then living in that city. Powers made rapid and sure progress, 
and commissions began to come to him. He was advised and 
finally enabled to go to Washington, where he was profitably em- 
ployed for two years. Of this period Tuckerman wrote : — 

" Cheered by domestic ties, encouraged by many friends, one of 
the earliest and most efficient of whom was Mr. Longworth, the life 
of the farmer's son and the western emigrant gradually emerged 
from casual and adroit to regular and aspiring development. His 
chosen pursuit soon gained him the best social privileges. While 
modelling the remarkable heads of General Jackson and Daniel 
Webster, of John C. Calhoun, Chief-Justice Marshall, and Colonels 
Johnson and Preston, — rare and emphatic types of the American 
character and physiognomy, such as modern sculptors seldom enjoy, — 
his frank and original nature won the confidence of his illustrious 



HIRAM POWERS AND THE "GREEK SLAVE" 



59 



sitters ; and some of the most pleasant and most profitable hours of 
his life were thus occupied, affording many genial subjects of 
patriotic recollection." l 

There was an encouraging harvest, too, of another sort. In 1837 
Mr. Powers packed up a large number of casts for reproduction in 
marble, — several of these commissions having been paid for in 
advance, — and set sail for Italy. Florence was destined to be his home 
henceforth to the day of his death, June 27, 1873. Such exile seemed 
absolutely necessary in those days, if only for the economy of marble 
work. The United States offered no good marble for fine carving. 
Skilled workmen were lacking also, and inferior ones were far more 
expensive than Europe's best. In Italy the sculptor could put out 
and superintend the reproduction of his work, accomplishing in a 
year, possibly, what might require a lifetime of his own unaided 
efforts. These considerations, added to the necessity for pro- 
fessional models in other branches of the work, as well as the allure- 
ments of ancient art, made the call irresistible. 

Powers and Greenough were now each thirty-two years of age. 
The latter had already been abroad nearly twelve years, most of 
which time he had been established in Florence. He had sent 
home his " Chanting Cherubs," and had heard from them. He was 
at this time engaged upon his " Washington," which had already 
occupied his time and thought for four years, and was destined to 
require as many more. Thomas Crawford had been in Rome three 
years, but had not yet produced anything of importance. Powers 
was therefore the third to go abroad. Greenough 's welcome was 
fraternal, and aided him much. " Thorwaldsen visited his studio, and 
pronounced his bust of Webster the best work of the kind executed 
in modern times; orders flowed in upon him from the English and 
Italians, as well as Americans." 2 

Nathaniel Hawthorne was greatly attracted by Powers, and his 
" Italian Notes " are full of kindly references to the sculptor. Some 
of these comments are amusing, and all are illuminating. The first 
impression was favorable, and not to be altered : — 

"Mr. Powers called in the evening — a plain personage charac- 
terized by strong simplicity and warm kindliness, with an impending 
1 " Book of the Artists," p. 278. ' 2 Ibid., p. 279. 



60 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

brow and large eyes, which kindle as he speaks. He is gray, and 
slightly bald, but does not seem elderly, nor past his prime. I accept 
him at once as an honest and trustworthy man, and shall not vary 
from this judgment." ' 

Elsewhere he says : " I have hardly ever felt an impulse to write 
down a man's conversation as I do that of Mr. Powers. The chief 
reason is, probably, that it is so possible to do it, his ideas being 
square, solid, and tangible, and therefore readily grasped and retained. 
He is a very instructive man, and sweeps one's empty and dead 
notions out of the way with exceeding vigor ; but when you have 
his ultimate thought and perception, you feel inclined to think and 
see a little further for yourself. He sees too clearly what is within 
his range to be aware of any region of mystery beyond. Probably, 
however, this latter remark does him injustice. I like the man, and 
am always glad to encounter the mill-stream of his talk." 2 

An account of one of Mr. Powers's impromptu discourses — this 
time on the Venus de' Medici — is interesting, and throws a brilliant 
sidelight on the "orator of the day." It concludes as follows: — 

" After annihilating the poor visage, Powers showed us his two 
busts of 'Proserpine' (Fig. 6) and 'Psyche,' and continued his lecture by 
showing the truth to nature with which these are modelled. . . . Still 
insisting upon the eye, and hitting the poor ' Venus ' another and 
another and still another blow on that unhappy feature, Mr. Powers 
turned up and turned inward and turned outward his own Titanic orb 
— the biggest by far that I ever saw in mortal head — and made us see 
and confess that there was nothing right in the 'Venus' and everything 
right in ' Psyche ' and ' Proserpine.' . . . Powers is a great man and 
also a tender and delicate one, massive and rude of surface as he looks; 
and it is rather absurd to feel how he impressed his auditor, for the 
time being, with his own evident idea that nobody else is worthy to 
touch marble. Mr. B told me that Powers has had many difficul- 
ties on professional grounds, as I understood him, and with his brother- 
artists. No wonder! he has said enough in my hearing to put him 
at swords' points with sculptors of every epoch and every degree be- 
tween the two inclusive extremes of Phidias and Clark Mills. 3 . . . 

1 " Italian Note-Book," 1 Vol. I. p. 290. ' 2 Ibid., Vol. II, p. 55. 

3 Ibid., Vol. II, p. 22. 



HIRAM POWERS AND THE "GREEK SLAVE" 



61 



" I had no idea of filling so many pages of this journal with the 
sayings and characteristics of Mr. Powers ; but the man and his talk 
are fresh, original, and full of bone and muscle, and I enjoy him 
much." ' 

Although Tuckerman gives the impression that the " Greek 
Slave" (PI. Ill) was Powers's first figure, we are told by others that 
the " Eve before the Fall " preceded it, having been completed in 
1S39 or 1840. The "Fisher 
Boy " followed a little later. 
The " Greek Slave," the work 
upon which Powers's fame 
largely rests, was finished in 
1843. The first reproduction 
in marble went to England, 
and it was not until 1847 that 
the sculptor's countrymen were 
allowed to behold this " white 
vision " in New York and other 
cities. It made a sensation 
wherever shown, and was fondly 
believed to be the greatest work 
of sculpture known to history. 
Nude art could hardly have 
presented itself in a more in- 
sinuating way ; the subject and 
the treatment were such as to 
awaken sympathy rather than 
antagonism. In Cincinnati Fig. 6. -Powers: Proserpine. 

the fair captive received a public vindication. A committee of 
clergymen made, in the interests of public morals, a critical ex- 
amination of the figure, and joined unanimously in giving her a 
" character." 

The " Greek Slave " was intended to represent a gentle prisoner, 
taken by the Turks from one of the islands of the Archipelago 
in the time of the Greek revolution. She stands stripped and 
manacled, offered perhaps for sale in a public place. 

^'Italian Note-Book," Vol. II, p. 27. 




Her right hand 



62 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

resting upon a convenient pillar supports her weary frame ; the left 
repeats the gesture of the Venus de' Medici. The head is turned 
abruptly to the left and bowed. The face is tinged with sadness. 

In spite of the fact that so many copies were made of this 
statue, only one is accessible to the public to-day in the United 
States — that being in the Corcoran Gallery in Washington. Com- 
paratively few have had opportunity, therefore, to see and judge this 
famous example of our early art, and it is perhaps good service to 
quote " authorities," who will settle once for all the standing of the 
" Greek Slave." 

We turn first to Tuckerman and rejoice to find him throbbing 
with emotion before the beauteous creature, "until," as he says, 
"admiration melts into sympathy"; and, unable to restrain himself 
longer, he breaks forth into ecstatic verse — six stanzas — in which 
gyves and lives, chains, limbs and fetters, are mingled with discreet 
references to " the bosom's patient swell " and the " soft, relying 
breast." The last verse is as follows : — 

" With thy dimpled arm depending, and thy pure averted brow, 
Earnest words I hear thee breathing to thy distant lover now : 
Words of triumph, not of wailing, for the cheer of Hope is thine, 
And, immortal in thy beauty, sorrow grows with thee divine." 1 

This seems a final verdict until we stray upon Jarves, 2 who 
is in a less palpitant mood: "Hiram Powers fully represents 
the mechanical proclivities of the nation. His female statues are 
simply tolerably well-modelled figures, borrowed in conception from 
the second-rate antiques, and somewhat arbitrarily named." 

But did not the " Greek Slave " move Mrs. Browning to fervid 

apostrophe ? 

" Appeal, fair stone, 
From God's pure height of beauty against man's wrong : 
Catch up in thy divine face not alone 
East's griefs, but West's, and strike and shame the strong 
By thunder of white silence overthrown." 

After this how could the London Art Journal (of July, 1873) 
say that " Hiram Powers cannot be ranked among the great sculptors 
of our time " ? 

1 '• Book of the Artists," p. 286. - " The Art-Idea," p. 265. 



HIRAM POWERS AND THE "GREEK SLAVE" 63 

Another art journal, 1 however, published as recently as 1900, an 
article on Powers, in which we read the following extraordinary 
statement : — 

" The name of Hiram Powers is inscribed on the highest pinnacle 
of the temple of art among the world's greatest sculptors ; but like 
many another one his pathway was not strewn with roses, particularly 
in his early life. But his wonderful creation of the ' Greek Slave ' 
brought him both fame and fortune, and stands to-day, and will for 
centuries, as one of the most beautiful and perfect representations of 
the female form executed by modern art." 

In the average of these dicta lies the truth. The " Greek 
Slave " is not as good sculpture as Tuckerman would have us 
believe ; it is «iot as bad as some others have hastily pronounced it. 
It is a sculptural conception, however timidly expressed. The artist 
had a glimpse, that time if never again, of something fine and 
poetic. If his work was not warmed by the glow of inspiration, 
it avoided on the other hand the turgid bombast, the exaggerated 
emotion of much modern Italian and French art. The "serenity" 
and " repose " of the old-school sculptors were not merely negative 
virtues. 

The artist's ideal, conceived with dignified moderation, was 
wrought out with infinite pains. Ignorant and unskilful in the 
modelling of the body, Powers turned with zest to the things which 
he felt he could do well. The fringe and embroidery on the mantle, 
with the chain, are very prominent features. The latter is a 
marvel of patient detail, like the chains which boys whittle out of a 
single stick. A locket and cross are conspicuously displayed, while 
the clothes are hung up with amusing tidiness on the post, seem- 
ingly every article accounted for. If the effort expended upon these 
accessories had been intelligently applied to the figure itself, the 
result might have been more pleasing to the cultivated taste of to-day ; 
but it was admirable for its time, and wins our respect even now. 
Beside his " Eve Repentant " the figure seems positively good, despite 
this naivete of treatment. The main lines are fair, and the work 
expresses a sculptural idea. Powers 's female faces are always lacking 
in personality ; but the touch of melancholy here almost hints at 

1 Arts for America, Chicago. 



64 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

character, while the total effect is unquestionably one of purity and 
sweetness. 

The " Greek Slave " attained to a popularity which would scarcely 
be possible for any work of sculpture to-day, however good or bad it 
might be. Hiram Powers, the unknown carver of busts, became 
instantly famous, not only in his native land, but abroad, particularly 
in England, where he remained a favorite until his death. Thus he 
was the first of American sculptors to win a European reputation. 
The "Greek Slave " was already celebrated before the opening of 
the great International Exhibition of 1851 in London. At that ex- 
hibition it is said to have been the one work of art by an American 
that did credit to America ; its success was overwhelming. It was 
the centre of interest at the first World's Fair in New York in 1853, 
and was reproduced over and over again. 1 Its fame in the United 
States was largely due to the fact that it was one of the first nude 
figures created by an American, and to its blissful heritage of a good, 
"taking" name. Those were the days of the Greek struggle for in- 
dependence ; Missolonghi and Byron and the Turk, " in his guarded 
tent," were still fresh in memory. American sympathies were in full 
flower, and only wanted some kind of a symbol to cling to. This 
chaste white figure of the bowed head, with its conspicuous chain and 
pitiful deprivation in matter of attire, was sufficient, and a whole flood 
of emotion, a nation's offering, rolled at her highly polished feet. 
There was a nation's pride in it, too, for was not this a real statue, 
just like the old ones in the museums — all spotless and smooth and 
naked ? Only a few knew that she was stupid and wooden, the work 
of a beginner — a mechanic. Let us hope that those who did know 
this never breathed a word of it. It was not the moment. The in- 
fant industries of our young nation required encouragement. The 
clock-maker of Cincinnati had done his best, and if his ambitious 
work was not so complete a success as his justly famous " Inferno," 

1 " Of this figure some six or eight copies came from Powers's studio : the first, sold to Cap- 
tain Grant for S4000. was taken to England, and is now in the gallery of the Duke of Cleve- 
land ; the second, brought to America in 1847, attracted great attention when exhibited in 
New York, and is now at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington ; the third copy belongs to Earl 
Dudley ; the fourth, purchased by Prince Demidoff for §4000, was sold at that nobleman's 
death for Si 1. 000 to A. T. Stewart of New York. The fifth copy is in the possession of Hon. 
E. W. Stoughton." — Clement and Hutton, "Artists of the Nineteenth Century." 



HIRAM POWERS AND THE "GREEK SLAVE" 65 

with its cheery waxwork devils, it was at least a step upward. It 
prepared the way for better things, turning a nation's thoughts 
toward the ideal. When the better things came, our people were 
somewhat better able to appreciate them, thanks, to the efforts of 
the sturdy pioneers who had had their_reward in the exhilaration 
of discovery, in the zest of doing. 

But the sculptor had a teeming fancy, as he believed, and many 
works were to follow. One of these has already been referred to, a 
possession now of the Metropolitan Museum of New York. " Then 
comes a lithe, graceful, immature figure of the Fisher Boy, hold- 
ing a shell to his ear, the attitude, the expression, the whole air and 
aspect suggestive of the mystery of life that connects its outset with 
eternity ; as we muse with the absorbed, unconscious, and beautiful 
youth, as intent he listens to the mourning shell, — we seem to hear 
the sound of — 

" that immortal sea 
That brought us hither, which neither man nor boy, 
Nor all that is at enmity with joy, 
Can utterly abolish or destroy." 

It is scarcely necessary to say who is being quoted ; none but 
Tuckerman is so appreciative. It makes one feel very poor and mean 
and envious to think that another finds so much where one's own 
emotions are compassed by a museum note like this : — 

" Powers 's 'Fisher Boy,' 1844. Net in right hand; sea-shell at 
ear. Lean little figure, straight and uninteresting." 

There was a figure of " America " which comes in here somewhere, 
a figure whose stiff outlines are revealed even through the fulsome 
praise of the time. One can imagine it to have been the worthy 
prototype of the army of conventional " Americas," " Libertys," and 
" Republics " which have followed. It was unfortunately destroyed 
by fire in Brooklyn many years ago. Powers's " Calhoun " also 
suffered the same fate in Columbia, South Carolina, during the 
Civil War, after being removed from Charleston for safety, while the 
first cast of the " Webster " was lost at sea. 

The " California," now in the Metropolitan Museum of New 
York, was carved in 1858. It is a female figure, entirely nude, and 
standing with one leg advanced in an easy posture. The position 



66 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



of the arms is unusual, one being held in front and the other 
behind the body. In the left hand is held a divining-rod. The 
figure is carefully modelled and simple in line, but uninteresting. 
The head looks bald at a little distance, so smoothly has the hair 

been patted down; but it is 
well poised in a thoughtful 
attitude, and the face, which 
is rather better than usual 
with Powers, wears a serious 
expression. It is hard to un- 
derstand how an early critic 
could call it " repulsive " and 
" sinister," but perhaps at a 
time when sculptured faces 
untouched by the slightest 
shade of expression were the 
vogue, the look of incipient 
intelligence in these features 
was too revolutionary and 
shocked the connoisseurs. 
The criticism of another is 
even more difficult to under- 
stand when he says : " The 
dignity of some of his alle- 
gorical statues, such as ' Cali- 
fornia,' and of some of the 
portrait statues, as that of ' Washington,' is greatly impaired by the 
too lavish introduction of accessories or by peculiarities of cos- 
tume." l All of which is true elsewhere ; but as " California " has 
no vestige of costume, and no accessory with the exception of the 
divining-rod, one wonders. 

Tuckerman describes the " Eve Disconsolate," one of Powers's 
most celebrated works, as she ''stands clasping her bosom with 
one hand, while the other indicates the serpent ; her tall, majestic 
form, her luxurious floating hair, her lovely face remorsefully 
turned to heaven, at a glance tell with silent eloquence the story 

1 London Art Journal. July, 1873. 




Fig. 7. — Powers : Daniel Webster, Chicago. 



HIRAM POWERS AND THE "GREEK SLAVE" 67 

of penitence, in the Christian and highest sense thereof, while the 
grand proportions of the form are full of poetic dignity, of matronly 
and maternal grace." l 

In reality this statue, which may be seen in the Cincinnati 
Museum of Art, is one of the weakest products of the time. While 
acknowledging the truth of Jarves's observation that all of Powers 's 
female figures " are the same woman and might be called something 
else with equal felicity of baptism," it would be easy to show that this 
" Eve " is distinctly inferior in every way to the " Greek Slave." 
Through its lean modelling the sculptor has unconsciously made it 
one of the most naked of nude figures. Whatever may be said of the 
characterless face, the body has personality. It is the realism of the 
beginner — a truth without selection. The figure, while deficient 
in construction, is superficially faithful, and presents a frightened and 
awkward model whose physical peculiarities are far more in evidence 
than her beauty. The " Eve before the Fall," on the other hand, as 
pictured in Benjamin's "Art in America," is admirably statuesque in 
line, and suggests a generous plastic handling, an effect which one 
feels only too sure is due to the gauze which the engraver's burin has 
thrown over it. If it were as good as it looks in the little woodcut, it 
might well merit the praise which the author applies indiscriminately 
to the two Eves : " By these noble works, inspired by true untram- 
melled artistic feeling, — which we must consider his best ideal 
compositions, — he earned a rank very near to that of Gibson and 
Canova, and rendered his art worthy of lasting remembrance." 2 

There are few American museums which are not well supplied 
with busts by Powers. Most frequent is that head which he used 
to produce incessantly under the title of " Ginevra," " Evangeline," 
" Faith," " Proserpine " (Fig. 6), " Psyche." The face is rather pretty 
in outline, but insipid and expressionless. There is " no guile " in 
it ; neither is there much of anything else. The bosom of this pure- 
minded lad}' is generally uncovered and very smooth. It is always 
cut squarely just below the mathematically rounded breasts. These 
essential features of Powers's ideal busts are, like the shoulders, 
always exactly on a level. Below them an irrelevant border of snaky 
ornament or of sharp acanthus leaves gives what the old sculptor 

1 " Book of the Artists," p. 287. 2 "Art in America," p. 141. 



68 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

evidently considered a " neat finish." In the Pennsylvania Academy 
of Fine Arts, the bust of " Proserpine," of this description, touches 
shoulders, whether by accident or intention, with Saint Gaudens's 
" Sherman." They seem to be miles apart. 

But if Powers's " ideal " heads have little to recommend them to 
modern taste, his busts of men, on the other hand, are often admi- 
rable. When he pronounced Joel T. Hart the best bust-maker of his 
time, he might well have excepted himself. More accomplished 
sculptors followed Powers — men who knew the human body and 
could compel it into other than stiff erect poses, artists versed in 
composition and able to combine figures into groups ; but few, indeed, 
down to our own day have produced more faithful, vivid portraits of 
men than did this primitive carver. With the female countenance 
he always seemed to lose himself in a vague ideal, but with men he 
was unerring and unflinching. He characterized with a firm, direct 
stroke. He even suggested planes, and his finish, if not varied, was 
agreeable in flow of surface. A good example is his bust of Webster 
(Fig. 7), now in Chicago. One may also instance his bust of William 
J. Stone in the Corcoran Gallery- The subject was not a handsome 
man, but the artist produced an excellent work. The room contains 
heads by various sculptors, some of them men of note, but among 
them all this one is easily the best. Powers's statues of Franklin 
and Jefferson in the Capitol, — in the corridor of the Senate and 
of the House, respectively, — with all their stiffness and dreariness 
of authentic costuming and merciless carving, show something of 
the same qualities in their faces. 

The head of the " Franklin " under its three-cornered hat is curi- 
ously remote in its rustic look of benignity and innocence. With his 
left hand lifted to his chin, the great philosopher seems absorbed in 
thought, an expression which fades away in the side view, giving 
place to an air of amiable senility, the while the pose suggests that 
" Poor Richard " has just perpetrated a mild joke and awaits the 
hearer's response. His left elbow rests upon a great stump, thick 
and high, the elaborate bark of which has been freshly and pro- 
foundly furrowed by devastating lightning. 

The "Jefferson," like the "Franklin," has somewhat cylindrical 
limbs, while the attire is equally smooth and characterless. The atti- 



HIRAM POWERS AND THE "GREEK SLAVE" 69 

tilde is easy and, for Thomas Jefferson, notably unaggressive. The 
weight rests upon the right leg ; the right hand grasps the coat lapel, 
while the left holds a scroll — beyond peradventure the immortal 
Declaration of Independence. Altogether he impresses one, as a 
very gentle and harmless individual. 

Powers's famous " Webster " stands in front of the State House in 
Boston, a pendant to Miss Stebbins's " Horace Mann." Like the latter 
it has a sufficient resemblance to a statue from a distance, and remains 
comparatively effective upon nearer view when approached from the 
front. The head is strong and impressive, the figure seems to stand 
fairly well. The left hand rests upon the fasces ; the right points to 
the symbol of state with a gesture of unfortunate weakness. It is not 
until the spectator has mounted the stairs to a position directly oppo- 
site the figure that he realizes the sculptor's helplessness with the 
body. Here the pose becomes absurd, almost imbecile, and even the 
face changes with it. Surely the great orator could not have looked 
like this, even in his moments of abnormal exaltation. It was in 
answer to criticisms upon this figure that Powers wrote: " If statues 
of our great men are wanted, expressing fancy rather than fact, other 
sculptors must be employed to execute them." 1 

Many a well-modelled head has missed appreciation because it 
chanced to be set upon a queer body. Powers's treatment of the 
figure is obviously strange to modern eyes ; to enjoy his sturdy 
strength and the very real grace of his chisel one must return to 
his busts of men. Here the classical traditions of his time admitted 
of no foolish accessories, of nothing whimsical ; the bare breast and 
quiet pose, then de rigueur, were in perfect accord with Powers's 

1 The following antagonistic estimates of the "Webster" illustrate the divergence of opin- 
ion, even among men of culture. It should be remembered, however, that twenty years separate 
these verdicts. 

" There is an expression of quiet, solid, massive strength in the whole figure ; a deep, 
pervading energy, in which any exaggeration of gesture would lessen and lower the effect. 
He looks really like a pillar of the state. The face is very grand, very Webster ; stern and 
awful, because he is in the act of meeting a great crisis, and yet with the warmth of a great 
heart through it.' 1 — Hawthorne, "Italian Note-Book." Vol. II, p. 158. 

"'Webster,' built up after an intense study of his last suit of clothes." — Jarves, "Art 
Thoughts," p. 302. 

"The 'Webster 1 of Powers is by universal criticism considered to be as indifferent a 
representation of that statesman as could be fashioned, and without any redeeming aesthetic 
feature." — Ibid., p. 305. 



jo THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

native simplicity and directness. In such work he was unconsciously 
but conspicuously at his best. 

These things which he did so admirably he held of little moment 
compared with his ideal creations. He was right in believing that 
realistic portraiture, however faithful, is not the highest expression 
of art. But he did not understand, apparently, that there is a por- 
traiture which is interpretative as well. Aiming at distinction in a 
field for which he was little fitted, that of imaginative sculpture, he 
may well have deceived himself as to his success. So low was the 
standard of the time, so great his popularity, that he could scarcely 
have suspected anything lacking, least of all that he was deficient in 
originality. Some of the panegyrics of his contemporaries astonish 
us, not because they praise, but on account of what they praise : — 

" He instinctively sought character and ignored the conven- 
tional ; he had been too long near the heart of nature, he had 
lived too much in an atmosphere of freedom and faith, he had 
been too well accustomed to depend on himself, to be blinded by 
authority or awed by precedent." This is good doctrine. One 
would like to borrow these words of Tuckerman's to apply to certain 
of our favorites of to-day; but how strange the thought that they 
could ever have been written of Hiram Powers — of Powers the 
sculptor of the conventional, the timid, the characterless ! Are our 
judgments of our contemporaries liable to so serious a discount thirty 
years from now ? Doubtless Tuckerman believed this eulogy when 
he wrote it of Powers, and without question Powers believed it of 
himself. Perhaps it was the sculptor who said it first. It was the 
way he felt. Though the most abject of imitators, he fancied him- 
self free. Personally a man of character; honest, direct, original, 
and by no means averse to expressing himself, he probably never 
realized that in his art he was anything but this, that he was as 
hampered and controlled by the dominant traditions of Italian 
sculpture as was the most colorless personality beside him — 
as " the McDowells, the Joneses, the Dunhams, the Nobles," of 
England. While his hands were tied by his lack of skill, his New 
England imagination was limited by the sombre and resourceless 
background of inarticulate generations. For our early American 
sculptors were anomalies, sports of nature. They represented no 



HIRAM POWERS AND THE "GREEK SLAVE" 71 

culmination of natural tastes, nor of inherited aptitudes. The 
race from which they sprang has never been artistic. Theirs was 
a grim, hard-working ancestry. They brought to their task no 
inward monitor, no intuitive sense of the harmonious, the tasteful. 
They escaped the ridiculous by doing the commonplace, never 
suspecting their own limitations. The puppets of fate, the victims 
of predestination, they believed themselves "free moral agents." 

The wonder, then, is not that they did so poorly, but that they 
accomplished so much and kept so well up to the general average 
of the times. America owes a perpetual tribute of gratitude to 
these men for opening the way, for preparing the soil. Art does 
not flourish without such preparation ; great art comes only after 
a weed-like crop of mediocre artists. Powers and Greenough 
and Crawford, like Rush and Frazee, were indispensable in the 
sequence which leads to the masters of the present hour, and to 
the yet greater men of the generations to come. 



CHAPTER IV 

CRAWFORD AND SCULPTURE AT THE CAPITOL 

The third man among the early sculptors of importance was 
Thomas Crawford, who was born in New York City in 1813, and 
died in London in 1857. A short life — only forty-four years; yet 
he crowded it remarkably full of joyous labor, and left behind him 
a long series of achievements. It has been said of him : " One 
would imagine from the eagerness and intensity exhibited by Craw- 
ford that he anticipated a brief career. Work seemed as essential 
to his nature as rest to less determined natures." 

Crawford's attractive personality is insisted upon by the writers 
of his generation. He is described by Tuckerman as being " above 
middle height, with remarkably regular features and strongly marked, 
very clear eye, high forehead and straight nose." 1 He seems to 
have been no less amiable than handsome, and to have drawn to 
himself during his twenty odd years in Rome the very choicest 
spirits of the world of art and literature. His loyal biographer tells 
us that when Crawford went abroad in 1S34: " He carried to Rome 
the ardor of Irish temperament and the vigor of an American 
character. . . . His lineage, school education, and early facilities 
indicate no remarkable means or motive for artistic development. 
... At first, contented to experiment as a juvenile draughtsman, to 
gaze into the windows of print-shops, to collect what he could obtain 
in the shape of casts, to carve flowers, leaves, and monumental 
designs in the marble-yard of Launitz, — then adventuring in wood- 
sculptures and portraits, until the encouragement of Thorwaldsen, 
the nude models of the French Academy at Rome, and copies from 
the ' Demosthenes ' and other antiques in the Vatican, disciplined 
his eye and touch, — thus by a healthful, rigorous process attaining 

1 " Book of the Artists." p. 319. 
t ' 2 




PLATE IV. 
CRAWFORD: ORPHEUS. BOSTON MUSEUM. 



CHAPTER IV 

r the cap;- 

. among the early sculptors of in was 

ird, who was born in New York md 

1857. A short life — only forty- yet 

arkably full of joyous labor, and left behind him 

of achievements. It has been said of him : " One 

rom the eagerness ibited by Craw- 

icipated a brief career ed as essential 

less determined natures." 

Cra attractive personality is in; iters 

ration. He is described by Tu 

h remarkably regular features 
high forehead and straight n 

less amiable than handsome, and e drawn to 

during his rs in Rome the very choicest 

art and literature.- His loyal biographer tells 

hat when Crawford went a 134: " He carried to Rome 

ardor of Irish tei igor of an American 

cha' lities 

:ate no remarl :nt. 

■ t first, 

rain 
he shap 

in the 1 Launitz, — 

nd pore: the encour 

1 
isthenes ' ar led 

ling 

32UM l^OTaOa .2U3H- TWAflO 



CRAWFORD AND SCULPTURE AT THE CAPITOL 73 

the manual skill and the mature judgment which equipped him to 
venture wisely in the realm of original conception, — there was a 
thoroughness and a progressive application in his whole initiatory 
course, prophetic, to those versed in the history of art, of the ultimate 
and secure success so legitimately earned." T 

In spite of Tuckerman's enthusiasm, but little of Crawford's 
work may be said to have been of truly sculptural inspiration. It 
seldom fails, however, to show a certain poetic or at least literary 
flavor, which betokens the essential refinement of his nature. Some- 
body once called him '■' the Allston of American sculpture," and those 
who like ready-made characterizations have used the phrase ever 
since. One finds difficulty in tracing the resemblance. The 
"classic majesty and mediaeval grandeur" which have been attrib- 
uted to the painter are quite lacking in Crawford. The sculptor's 
imagination circled in a very limited field. It never soared. In 
practice he was unable to combine two figures into a good composi- 
tion. Almost all that he did was cast in the conventional mould of 
the time. In the " Armed Liberty " alone did he produce a work of 
notable originality and unassailable strength. 

Crawford had been in Rome for several years making a bare 
subsistence by means of portrait busts and copies of antique statuary 
in the Vatican, when, through the efforts of Charles Sumner, he was 
enabled, in 1839, to put in marble his first important work, the 
"Orpheus and Cerberus," now in the Boston Museum (PL IV). 
He pictures the distraught husband shading his eyes as he peers 
eager and intent into the gloom of Hades in search of the lost 
one. This graceful nude was evidently a serious effort, but, despite 
its sculptural conception, it seems to-day very weak. The head is 
effeminate and characterless, and the figure, though well-propor- 
tioned, is more suggestive of sandpaper finish than of modelling. 
This is especially noticeable in the arms, which are merely smoothed 
over, with slight regard for anatomy. The hair is extremely mo- 
notonous, with the true Thorwaldsen touch ; the drapery tinlike. 
Even~\vhen they did the nude fairly well, those early men were 
almost invariably insistent in their treatment of accessories. They 
had no notion of subordinating anything, of relegating non-essentials 

1 " Book of the Artists," p. 307. 



74 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

to the second place. Every detail was emphasized and underscored. 
When the accessory was in itself something absurd, as in the case 
of the monster Cerberus, the result was grotesque. The unfortunate 
creature is in no wise ferocious, but seems pained and humiliated at 
his own appearance. The shapeless heads are quite without con- 
struction. The necks are gathered together apologetically into a 
nondescript contrivance on legs, which looks for all the world like a 
clumsy piece of furniture. Such an anticlimax brings an irreverent 
smile to modern eyes, and the real elevation of the artist's thought 
is forgotten. We do not give it a chance. It is not quite possible 
for us to do so. Yet this group marked, if it did not make, an 
epoch in American sculpture, and was justly welcomed as a notable 
achievement. Hawthorne held that Crawford never surpassed it, 
and Benjamin, as late as 1880, says: "It seems on the whole to be 
the most symmetrical and justly representative work of this great 
sculptor." 1 

It is not, then, in Crawford's minor works that we shall find great 
satisfaction. The three figures in the Metropolitan Museum give a 
fair idea of them. The "Dancing Girl," done in 1844, is a child's 
figure inspired no doubt by Donatello's little dancers and is a charm- 
ing creation for its day. The "Dying Indian Maiden," dated 1848, 
is much less attractive. It is a small, recumbent figure, with a gaping 
wound, which the carefully arranged hands make no attempt to pro- 
tect. The work has neither sentimental appeal nor lines of beauty. 
The "Flora" of 1853 is likewise without sculptural import. The 
casual limbs extend apparently haphazard, and the face is inane; but 
the abundant flowers are marvellously detached. The total effect is 
not inspiring. 

In the Corcoran Gallery is Crawford's once much admired 
" Peri," a life-size standing figure. The pose is despondent and the 
face, weary and dejected, is of the Crawford " ideal " type, so unsatis- 
factory to modern taste — the type from which the sculptor emanci- 
pated himself successfully for once in the countenance of his girlish 
" Armed Liberty " of the Capitol. The drapery is of course that of 
the time, hard and much corrugated, with little artificial touches, and 
with the general hang of a garment that could never be worn. 

1 "Art in America." p. 146. 



CRAWFORD AND SCULPTURE AT THE CAPITOL 75 

The wings are conscientiously labored, without an inch of restful 
surface, and the sum total is a sufficiently pathetic creature which 
looks well the part of a bedraggled, outcast angel. 

Among other early works of which we find record, but which do 
not demand extended notice, may be mentioned an " Adam and 
Eve," a "Shepherdess," "Children in the Woods," a "Boy play- 
ing Marbles," a " Pandora," " Dancing Jenny," modelled from the 
sculptor's little daughter, a " Cupid," a " Genius of Mirth," a 
" Hebe and Ganymede," a " Mercury and Psyche," the " Daughter 
of Herodias," and " Aurora." In addition to these statues and the 
important works now to be described, Crawford modelled more than 
twenty bas-reliefs of scriptural, classical, and other subjects. Neither 
his invention nor his industry ever seemed to flag, and the list of his 
designs is an almost incredibly long one. It is much to be regretted 
that the eighty-seven casts presented to Central Park, New York, by 
his widow, should have been lost through fire. Collectively, they 
would have formed a most interesting monument to the indefatigable 
man who created them. 

The once famous " Beethoven," by Crawford, which stood for so 
many years in front of the great organ in Music Hall, Boston, has 
since been removed to the new Symphony Hall, Back Bay. A 
photograph shows this figure to be a work of dignified conception 
without unpleasant novelty or striking characteristics of any kind. 
It is imaginable that at the proper moment, at the height of some 
noble climax of the orchestra, or when the mighty organ is pouring 
forth billows of melody, this great bronze with its bowed head 
and quiet folded hands, its all-enveloping mantle, and its waiting 
roll, might seem the very personification of genius. It can be imag- 
ined, thus illuminated by the emotion of the hour, becoming the con- 
crete symbol of Music and acquiring for the time an impressiveness 
denied to works of even greater artistic value. Its very lack of 
definite expression, its in-foldedness, permit the fancy to clothe 
it with significance and power. One sympathizes with the enthu- 
siasm which prompted the Bavarians to celebrate its casting in 
Munich with an impromptu concert and a torchlight procession, 
and yet we cannot help wondering what the joyous Germans might 
have thought of it had they visited the foundry again the next morn- 



7 6 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



ing. Perhaps to eyes and tastes grown accustomed to Schwanthaler's 
hasty, ill-studied works this statue would always seem admira- 
ble, but with our different standards it would be hard to-day to 
achieve " that free and generous surrender of ourselves " to its appeal, 
save when under the spell of music and at a mitigating distance. 

The " James Otis," in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, is 
a worthy figure which may be praised almost without reservation. 

The inevitable defects of its time are 
obvious here and there in leanness of 
drapery and emphasis of accessories, but 
these minor features are quite overshad- 
owed by the beauty of the conception 
and the convincing worth of the man 
whom the artist has so vividly presented 
to us. The happy use of a large cloak 
gives a sculptural motive gratifying to the 
eye at the very first glance. The left hand, 
concealed, but felt through this drapery, 
rests upon the hip ; the right hand holds 
a pen and a roll inscribed, " Speech 




against Writs of Assistance." 



The right 



Fig. 8. — Crawford : Freedom, 
Washington. 



foot is advanced. Behind it, upon the 
floor, lies the Stamp Act. The legs are 
well drawn ; the mantle is treated in a 
large, simple way ; the hand is good ; 
and, finally, the countenance is noble and 
serene. The buttons and the lace of the 
sleeves and bosom are a little over-empha- 
sized ; but, as has been said, all details, 
good or unfortunate alike, are dominated 
by the graceful carriage, the quiet dignity of the subject. The little 
sky-lighted vestibule in which this figure stands is shared by three 
other marble effigies of men of distinction. In the presence of this 
admirable work these three look harmoniously insignificant in their 
three respective ways, " each according to his gift." 

Crawford returned to the United States but once after taking up 
his residence in Rome. This was in 1S49, and while here he was 



CRAWFORD AND SCULPTURE AT THE CAPITOL 77 

commissioned by the state of Virginia to execute a monument for 
the city of Richmond (Fig. 10). We are told that he made the 
accepted sketch in a single night in New York. This appears by 
no means improbable, since there is nothing in the general scheme 
of the monument which would suggest protracted thought. The 
central figure is an equestrian statue of Washington ; the plinth on 
which it stands has six protuberances in the form of attached pedes- 
tals for as many standing figures of noted sons of Virginia. The 
originals of two of these — Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson — 
were modelled by Crawford ; the others — Marshall, Mason, Nelson, 
and Lewis — were done by Randolph Rogers, who on Crawford's death 
was commissioned to finish the monument. Six diminutive alle- 
gorical figures were placed on separate pedestals directly in front 
of the portrait statues. These are also the work of Rogers. 

The monument was doubtless intended to be a magnificent 
affair, and is still supposed to be such by many who have not 
seen it, since little by way of disparagement has been written about 
it, except by Hawthorne and Jarves. It is constantly referred to 
as Crawford's most important work, but it is certainly not the one 
upon which his legitimate fame will rest most securely. The crown- 
ing group is a natural expression of those early and untoward times 
which gave it birth, being little if any better than Clark Mills's 
efforts in Washington. Indeed, so bad is it that the approaching 
traveller can scarcely trust his eyes when, up against the heavens, this 
extraordinary apparition first meets his view. If the day chances to 
be sunless, the bronze horse and rider upon their lofty and narrow 
pedestal appear flat, without modelling, and the effect is that of a 
silhouette — apparently a horse of pasteboard, struck by a squall and 
nearly blown from its moorings. To this illusion the harmonious 
collapse of the creature's legs contributes not a little. There may 
be worse horses in American sculpture ; there is certainly none 
more amusing than this " Arabian steed " eulogized by Tuckerman, 
whose arched neck, distended nostrils, and expressively human coun- 
tenance we shall meet again upon the bronze doors of the Senate. 
The last touch of absurdity is given to the brave group by that 
backward push, right over the edge of the thriftily inadequate 
pedestal. The elision of the whole upper member of the pile would 



78 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

help somewhat by bringing the statue down to a larger platform ; but 
the dimensions of the bronze base, upon which two of the horse's 
feet rest, show that the artist was himself responsible. It is very 
likely that he never knew his blunder, since the statue was not set in 
place until after his death. Indeed, the news of Crawford's death 
was brought by the very ship which transported the " Washington " 
to this country in October, 1857. 

But if Thomas Crawford was entirely beyond his depth in the 
problems of equestrian statuary, we find him more than adequate in 
his other contributions to the monument. It is much to be regretted 
that pressing orders led him to neglect the Richmond commission 
until it had finally to be completed, like so many of his undertak- 
ings, by other hands. For with all respect for the talent and sincer- 
ity of Randolph Rogers, — and his figures here are among his best, 
— the " Patrick Henry " and the " Jefferson " are by far the most 
interesting characterizations of the six. The former is indeed a 
noble figure, worthy to stand with its author's " James Otis." Surely 
the enthusiastic sculptor had a thrill of emotion the day he con- 
ceived it. He shows the patriot with arms and face uplifted. We 
seem to hear that impassioned utterance, " But as for me, give me 
liberty or give me death." The beautiful head is exalted in expres- 
sion as in pose. Its very features are eloquent, while the attitude 
throughout is lithe, graceful, and strikingly animated. The artist 
could not have chosen better had he tried a hundred times; a hun- 
dred others have tried and done far worse. The cloak which adds 
to the volume of the figure is well placed and does not seem super- 
fluous. Its treatment is of course hard and lean, like many other 
inevitable details ; but, overlooking such minor things, the general 
air of the statue is strongly suggestive of David d'Angers at his 
best. 

This resemblance is even more pronounced in the " Jefferson," 
which, while not recalling in any way the French sculptor's 
sprightly and powerfullv modelled " Jefferson " in the rotunda of the 
Capitol, does evoke a memory of his curiously compact " Bichat " 
with folded arms, in the court of the Ecole de Medecine in Paris. 
Crawford's " Jefferson " wraps a voluminous mantle about himself, 
and with pen uplifted appears lost in thought. In his left hand 



CRAWFORD AND SCULPTURE AT THE CAPITOL 79 

he holds the Declaration of Independence in a roll, very con- 
spicuously inscribed "1776." 

Hawthorne tells of a visit to Crawford's studio, soon after 
the sculptor's death. His comments on the Richmond monument 
display his usual sagacity : — 

" In one of the rooms was a model of the monument itself on a 
scale, I should think, of about an inch to a foot. It did not impress 
me as having grown out of any great and genuine idea in the artist's 
mind, but as being merely an ingenious contrivance enough. . . . 
When finished it will probably make a very splendid appear- 
ance, by its height, its mass, its skilful execution ; and will 
produce a moral effect through its images of illustrious men, and 
the associations that connect it with our Revolutionary history; 
but I do not think it will owe much to artistic force of thought or 
depth of feeling. It is certainly, in one sense, a very foolish and 
illogical piece of work, — Washington, mounted on a very uneasy 
steed, on a very narrow space, aloft in the air, when a single step of 
the horse backward, forward, or on either side, must precipitate him ; 
and several of his contemporaries standing beneath him, not looking 
up to wonder at his predicament, but each intent on manifesting his 
own personality to the world around. They have nothing to do 
with one another, nor with Washington, nor with any great purpose 
which all are to work out together." 1 

Apparently the novelist was not more favorably impressed by 
other examples of Crawford's art, since he pronounced them 
" commonplaces in marble and plaster such as we would not tolerate 
on a printed page," and continues: " He appears to have considered 
all his life and labor, heretofore, as only preparatory to the great 
things that he was to achieve hereafter. I should say, on the con- 
trary, that he was a man who had done his best, and had done it 
early ; for his ' Orpheus ' is quite as good as anything else we saw in 
the studio. " 2 It is more than likely that if Hawthorne had known 
Thomas Crawford as well as he did Hiram Powers, his estimate 
might have been different. 

It was a grievance with Powers, to the end of his long life, 
that he had not been commissioned, carte blanche, to make sculptures 

1 "Italian Note-Book," Vol. I, pp. 128-130. - Ibid., Vol. I, p. 128. 



80 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

for the national Capitol ; Crawford, on the other hand, accepted with 
alacrity the invitation to compete for the work. Through the aid 
of his old-time friend, Charles Sumner, he received what was and 
remained for many years "the most extensive and important com- 
mission ever given by the government to an artist." In spite of the 
manifest imperfections of the result, one must agree with the author of 
"Great American Sculptures" that "the selection of Crawford to make 
the group for the north pediment, the colossal statue for the dome, 
and the bronze doors for the north entrance was fortunate, for it is 
exceedingly doubtful whether any other American artist of the day 
— excellent as some of them might have been — could have exe- 
cuted the work in such a satisfactory manner as he did ; for Craw- 
ford's work undoubtedly is satisfactory, even if it fails in some 
particulars to realize the ideal of what such work should be." J 

The pedimental group in particular (Fig. 9), the chief decora- 
tion of the Senate wing of the Capitol, illustrates well the audacity 
of youth in an untried field. Probably no American sculptor of. 
the time could have done it better, for the fundamental require- 
ments of such a decoration were universally unknown; our designers 
in the gropings of their inexperience could not possibly have 
guessed them. 

In this case the grandiloquent theme, " The Past and Present 
of America," interdicted any good fortune which might have come 
by accident. Choosing for his motif a " tableau " of disconnected 
figures, it was not possible that the sculptor should stumble upon 
that unity of treatment which now and then surprises us even in 
the work of a tyro who has sought to give expression to a single 
momentous thought. Moreover, the other essentials of great deco- 
rative art were to Crawford a sealed book. How could he know 
that even in treating the " Past and Present of America " there 
should be an interdependence of parts leading the eye inevitably 
but agreeably to a worthy culmination, and that such visible ar- 
rangement presupposes a dramatic climax in the thought ? His 
poetic nature seems never to have suggested the possibilities of 
rhythm, the march of a great poem in stone with its successive 
strophes like the waves of the sea, interrupted but mounting higher 

1 " Great American Sculptures," by William J. Clark, Jr., p. 67. 



CRAWFORD AND SCULPTURE AT THE CAPITOL 8 1 

and higher in an irresistible crescendo. Of the just measure of 
elaboration of these individual masses, each complete within itself, 
varied in detail when viewed near at hand, and effective in broad 
lights and shadows, as well as in the leading lines when seen from 
afar; of the cumulative beauty of parts closely united in the grasp of 
a mighty whole — in short, of the lesson of the Parthenon, Crawford 
seems to have been blithely unconscious. He must have known 
the Elgin marbles ; he evidently did not grasp their significance. 
For him and for his colleagues the greater achievements of the past 
did not exist. 

The official inteipretation of the group as offered to the tourist 
may be quoted from a convenient guide-book : — 




aii>iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiriiuii«iiiiiiiiiiiuiiiiiuiiiinMuiiusiiitiri(TiirnTo 



Fig. 9. — Crawford: Pediment of Senate, Washington. 

"Out on the tympanum, or gable end of the portico, is a sculp- 
ture by the same artist, which by many is thought to be his greatest 
work and one of the chief adornments of the Capitol. In this 
Crawford has attempted to portray in a single group the ' Past and 
Present of America.' In the centre, America offers the laurel 
wreaths of merit to her deserving citizens ; the rising sun and the 
eagle portray her youth and her strength ; at her left the pioneer 
levels the forest, the youthful hunter stands near; and, beyond, the 
Indian warrior and his family, in deepest gloom, watch the inroads 
of the coming race, while only the inevitable grave is back of them. 
To the right stand the soldiers, ready for defence, the educated 
youths and their teacher, ready for good citizenship in any walk of 
life, and the mechanic and the merchant are here with the emblems 
of Agriculture and Commerce, the bulwarks of the Nation." 



82 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

"America" stands conspicuous in the midst of the assembly, 
dominating her companions by her size. The figure is not weakly 
conceived. While in no sense distinguished, this personification of 
our country has dignity and grace, and withal a certain sculptural 
amplitude of mass which is unfortunately lacking in the composi- 
tion as a whole. In her right hand she holds some wreaths; the 
left is extended above an eagle. The bird of freedom is balanced 
by the rising sun, which looks near at hand like a mechanical 
contrivance made of wooden slats radiating from a common centre. 
" America's" nearest neighbor on her right is a brave soldier, — per- 
haps Washington, — who draws his sword with energy, a vigorous 
and interesting figure. Next, without pretence of sculptural re- 
lationship, is a thoughtful individual seated upon a bale of mer- 
chandise. Then follow two youthful figures, who seem to acclaim 
some one, but whether " America," or the pensive gentleman on 
the bundle, is not clear. Beyond these two we discover a teacher 
and child, then a recumbent mechanic with hammer and cogwheel, 
and finally an anchor and sheaves of wheat. 

On the other side one sees, first, the representation of a man 
chopping a tree. The swing of his axe is so untrammelled as to 
threaten the safety of the Republic ; that she does not wince in the 
face of so great peril is an evidence of her imperturbability and 
strength. The general effect of the composition does not escape so 
lightly. The realistic action of this figure is an inharmonious note, 
and produces the impression of a living workman up there among 
the statues. Another unpleasant feature is the bulk of the enormous 
tree-trunk which the conscientious artist has felt it necessary to 
introduce — a logical adjunct of the woodman's sincere endeavor. 
Given the effort, there must be something to chop, and this object 
must seem adequate. Reason is satisfied, but the aesthetic sense 
protests, only to become hopelessly entangled in the next feature, a 
confused mass of reeds, perhaps, of mammoth growth, something 
entirely incongruous and unintelligible unless intended for a bit of 
landscape as a natural setting for the hunter who comes next, laden 
with game, — or is he a fisher burdened with his successful catch? 
At any rate, the youth bows cheerfully under his load and advances 
upon the scene unmindful of marble thickets and serpents, falling 



CRAWFORD AND SCULPTURE AT THE CAPITOL 83 

branches, and the threatening Thor-like swing of the woodman. 
Recurring to the man with the axe, one asks himself if the artist had 
in mind the eastern pediment of the Parthenon, and imagined that 
Phidias had thus shown Hephaestus with hammer still uplifted, in 
the presence of Zeus and his wonder-born daughter. We cannot 
believe to-day that Grecian taste of the Periclean age would permit 
so naif a rendering of the great theme. 

We come now to an element of especial interest in this "America " 
group — the once celebrated " Indian Chief," a replica of which may be 
studied, detached and at short range, in the collection of the Historical 
Society of New York City. Of this figure Tuckerman wrote: "No 
American subject has been treated in marble with such profound 
local significance as the ' Indian Chief,' — a statue by Crawford now 
most appropriately occupying the entrance hall of the New York 
Historical Society; and no more judicious compliment to the artist's 
fame can be imagined than the English sculptor Gibson's proposal 
at the meeting of artists at Rome, called to pay a last tribute to 
Crawford's memory, that this statue should be cast in bronze, and set 
up as a permanent memorial of his national fame in one of the 
squares of the Eternal City. The attitude, air and expression, the 
grand proportions, the aboriginal type of form and feature, the bowed 
head, the clenched hand, the stoical despair of this majestic figure, 
adequately and eloquently symbolize the destruction of a race, and 
mark the advent of civilization on this continent."' 1 

A correspondent of the London Art Journal of those days like- 
wise found the figure full of poetic meaning : — 

" Resting on a low mound is seated the Indian Chief, a nude 
figure excellently modelled. His head crowned with tufted feathers 
rests sadly upon his hand ; the weary chase of life is over, he is dying 
— the Great Spirit waits to conduct him to the far-off hunting 
grounds, that dreamy land where souls repose in boundless prairies. 
His tribe has disappeared, he is left alone, the solitary offshoot of a 
mighty race ; already the axe of the backwoodsman disturbs his last 
hours ; civilization and art and agriculture — all mysteries to him 
incomprehensible — have desecrated his home, and the dark shadows 
of the past gather him into their bosom ! " 

1 " Book of the Artists," p. 310. 



84 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Though apparently crushed by the cornice, this figure, taken by 
itself, is in many ways admirable. It is sculpturally conceived; the 
pose is natural and well imagined, the construction reasonably good. 
If it does not show the mastery of a Michael Angelo, it will at least 
rank well with its prototypes from the hands of Thorwaldsen and 
Canova. The wiping out of certain insistent and tiresome details 
here and there, as the joints in the rubble pier on which the figure 
is seated, the sharp edges of the hairy skin which serves as drapery, 
and the severely detached tomahawk, would go far toward making 
it a truly artistic work. Examination of the replica shows the head 
to be weak and the hair very crudely carved ; but the modelling of 
the nude is almost good ; a little hard doubtless in the softer parts, 
and a little flabby where it should be hard, but well drawn and treated 
with a pleasing mat finish. It is not difficult to pick flaws in it; the 
intercostal muscles are uncertain because not understood, but their 
vagueness is offset by the firm modelling of the thighs, legs, and arms. 
The latter are a trifle over-accentuated about the elbow, and the 
fingers are consistently monotonous and sharply defined. They were 
well done, though, for the time. Their faults were inevitable ; no 
one was doing differently in Rome. The head, however, is unpar- 
donably lacking in construction, and is quite without Indian character 
other than the conventional Roman nose, which was employed in 
those days as a symbol and saved a vast amount of research. The 
ears are unpleasantly isolated and the eyes are amateurish in treat- 
ment; but then one need not look at the eyes unless curious to see 
how they are done — the bowed head sufficiently conveys the impres- 
sion of melancholy. 

It might be difficult for the average mind to find presage of 
prompt death in this well-knit figure which bears no mark of violence, 
and is neither emaciated by illness nor blighted by age, and to-day 
the " profound local significance " of the statue would be much ques- 
tioned. Its historic significance, however, is great. While the 
audacious scheme of the early enthusiast — the pediment as a whole 
— cannot be pronounced in any sense successful, this fragment must 
be viewed with respect. 

The " tableau " is closed in the low 7 north angle of the tympa- 
num with a figure of a mother — Indian? — clasping a babe to her 



CRAWFORD AND SCULPTURE AT THE CAPITOL 85 

bosom, and beyond her a grave. The " detachment " continues to the 
end. There is no bond of common interest uniting these figures, nor 
are the antagonisms, even, expressed by the composition. Structural 
unity is lacking because the artist had no great and compelling idea 
to start with. Spaces are poorly filled. Lines wander aimlessly in 
all directions. The sculptor is not only impotent in their regard, but 
quite unaware of their possibilities. Of light and shade he knows 
nothing. His figures, though robust, present lean masses to the eye. 
Certain accessories, like the stump, the reeds, and the mechanical 
sun, are almost ludicrous. And yet, and yet — there are not a few 
pedimental sculptures in the capitals of Europe, with their centuries 
of artistic example behind them, in which all of these faults are 
glaring, and which are far less interesting to-day than this early 
American work. 

A writer who recently referred to Crawford's " stately and grace- 
ful figure of Liberty on the dome of the Capitol " (Fig. 8) as being 
"far too beautiful to be placed out of sight," might possibly have re- 
adjusted his sentence had he visited the National Museum, where 
stands the original plaster cast of this enormous statue. Here the 
feet are brought down to the level of the spectator's eye, and one 
sees the details but too well. From near by " Liberty " (properly 
"Freedom") appears devoid of grace and even character; nothing 
but curiosity would impel one to give her a second glance ; but, thanks 
to the fortunate intuition of the artist, the " blocky " unmodelled 
figure, translated into bronze and lifted on high, crowns the noble 
dome fittingly and not without a certain majesty. One questions 
whether a more experienced sculptor were likely to hit, even after 
many attempts, upon a happier design, or whether more agreeable 
modelling would have been as effective as those rude folds and 
bulky masses. Certainly, Rogers's insignificant " Genius of Con- 
necticut," with her weary gesture, is not to be placed in the same 
category with this work. Crawford had the good taste to give his 
" Freedom " a very simple, concentrated pose with plenty to occupy 
her hands — they were full enough in those days! The sword and 
shield not only support the hands in turn, but contribute their 
straight lines to the architectural effectiveness of the mass. The 
head is well poised and has, from a distance, an airy grace, coupled 



86 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



with much strength. Near approach brings surprise : the face is 
blankly sweet with its big, deep-set eyes and its parted lips — an 
expression oddly suggestive of national inexperience, or, if we adhere 
to the exact title of the work, of Freedom's extreme youthfulness. 
The stars which adorn the " Jeff. Davis helmet " (see Tuckerman) 
were apparently sawed from a plank, and the clumsy border of the 
mantle is decorated with a row of balls like sleigh-bells. The 

hands are unmodelled, and the 
drapery of even the lighter gar- 
ment is monotonous through- 
out. 

But the interesting and im- 
portant fact remains — the only 
thing which is important — that 
the bronze figure, in place, is 
successful. We have no right 
to go behind the record and 
examine the plaster cast with 
a microscope, though a tele- 
scope might be helpful in con- 
templating the bronze. It is 
the merest chance which offers 
us the model for close scrutiny, 
and we are reconciled to the 
distance of the triumphant 
maiden on her " mountain 
height " of cast iron. Few, indeed, would be willing to banish that 
image from the dome of the Capitol, even in exchange for a better. 
Whether seen or merely guessed at ; whether prized for what it says 
to us, or for what it considerately does not say, but allows us to read 
into it, this figure has come to embody a national ideal. It has 
acquired significance as well as beauty in our eyes. It is dear to 
every American heart as the official, the authorized symbol of Freedom 
— a Freedom which has to-day a meaning that was unknown when, 
in i860, Clark Mills cast this enormous statue, and when, to the boom- 
ing of cannon and the shouts of a city full of soldiers, the fragments 
were lifted one by one to that aery height. One cannot repress the 




Fig 



■Crawford: Washington Monument, 
Richmond. 



CRAWFORD AND SCULPTURE AT THE CAPITOL 87 

fancy that if we could scrutinize the bronze face to-day, its virgin 
features would show a very different expression from that of the 
cloistered model. Think of the scenes which she looked down uj)on 
during those tempestuous years following her fiery birth ! Would it 
be strange if the face up there in the clouds had lost its unsophis- 
ticated wide-eyed stare ? At any rate, the kindly years which have 
laid a whole generation of men to rest since those harsh times have 
touched her gently, clothing her in a beautiful patina of green, which 
softens and elaborates her drapery until she seems now to be en- 
veloped in a veil — a veil rich and filmy and of the color of distant 
forests draped in mist. 

Few American sculptures have had greater fame than the 
bronze doors of the national Capitol. Admired from the begin- 
ning, they have the advantages of narrative form and abundant 
detail, and their renown has gained momentum with the years. 
Crawford and Rogers were engaged upon the two portals at about 
the same time; but the death of Crawford in 1857 arrested work 
upon the doors of the Senate, and they were finished several 
years later by the hands of another. 1 They did not reach their 
final destination until November, 1868, or seven years after the 
Rogers doors were hunar. 

Less elaborate than their pendants, and lacking the advantage 
of priority, the Crawford doors have received a smaller share of 
attention. The subjects chosen by the sculptor are illustrations of 
Revolutionary and Federal history. The right-hand door commemo- 
rates " War and its Terrors " ; the left, " Peace and its Blessings." 
The period illustrated comprises eighteen years, and begins chrono- 
logically at the top on the right hand, where is portrayed the 
" Battle of Bunker Hill and Death of General Warren," 1775. Below 
is the " Battle of Monmouth and Rebuke of the Traitor, General 
Charles Lee," 1778; next " Yorktown and the Gallant Hamilton," 
1 78 1, with "A Hessian Soldier attacking a Colonial House" at the 
bottom. Opposite, and in contrast to this last study, is an allegori- 
cal representation of " Peace " ; above, " Washington's Reception at 
Trenton," as he was on his way to New York to assume the Presi- 
dency; next, " Inauguration of Washington," 1789; and in the upper 

1 William H. Rinehart. 



88 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

panel, " Laying of the Corner-stone of the Capitol," 1 793, by Wash- 
ington. 

" Peace and its Blessings " is particularly Thorvvaldsen-like. It is 
a dignified little group, showing a happy family in nondescript, semi- 
classic costume. The father rests his hand very gently upon a 
plough handle, and turns with an appreciative look to his loving 
spouse, who seems to say, " I, too, have not been idle." Their three 
hopeful olive branches serve admirably for chinking in the compo- 
sition. One recalls that, despite the size of the household, con- 
temporary writers persisted in recognizing in the scene no other than 
George Washington and his family. 

The companion relief to the " Peace," — " War and its Terrors," — 
is far from impressive, while " Washington at Trenton" and " Mon- 
mouth " are made laughable by the knowing expressions of the 
undersized ponies. These are the typical horses of art of half a 
century ago — just such as one finds in the old engravings. 
They bear the sympathetic touch of a Landseer. In the Trenton 
ovation, Washington's centaur-like steed carries himself with proud 
humility, but looks the appreciation which it would ill become him to 
express in words. It is in " The Rebuke of General Lee at Mon- 
mouth," however, that the equine companions rise to the greatest 
height of human feeling. An old description tells us — awkwardly 
enough — that " Washington is seen as having ridden rapidly to 
where he meets Lee under a tree, and rising in the stirrups of his 
saddle, administers a rebuke that droops the traitor's head as much 
as Lee's military salute to his chieftain has his sword." 

Washington's pose is commanding, but the war-time writer drew 
on his imagination regarding the attitude of the early General Lee. 
In reality he neglects to lower his head at all, and also neglects to 
wear any particular expression. However, his deficiencies are more 
than atoned for by the eloquent looks of the two horses. Washing- 
ton's diminutive charger holds up his head with all the rigidity 
of conscious worth, and snorts defiance at the four-footed traitor 
opposite. The latter recoils into himself, rolling agonized eyes at 
thought of his own degradation. 

" The Death of Warren " is not fortunately chosen. The 
"Hamilton" is better; the "Inauguration" dignified. The quiet 



CRAWFORD AND SCULPTURE AT THE CAPITOL 89 

" Laying of the Corner-stone " is the best of all — a simple, direct 
rendering of an impressive scene. 

The relief is high, some of the figures being almost in the 
round; the general scheme, like that of Rogers, is evidently in- 
spired by the gates of the Florentine baptistery. Let us rather 
say "suggested," since inspiration is a quality of which even the 
chemist's ultimate analysis would discover but slight traces in 
either of these painstaking works. No doubt Crawford's designs 
were produced with much spontaneity. We are told that " his 
mind teemed with so many panoramic and single conceptions — 
historical, allegorical, ideal, and illustrative of standard literature 
or classical fable — that only time and expense presented obstacles 
to unlimited invention." The trouble is that as a rule these 
imaginings were not legitimately sculptural conceptions. Some 
were pictorial, others not even that. The approach was almost 
always literary, — a story, a sentiment ; but seldom is the result an 
impressive mass or an effective combination of lines. Even this 
lack might have been atoned for in part if some miracle had 
endowed the ardent dreamer with a felicitous touch. But here, 
too, he was notably deficient. He seems never to have guessed 
the real merit of the Ghiberti Gates : their charm of handling, 
their wealth of sculptural color, the rhythm of their grouped 
figures. How could he? In those days such qualities received 
no recognition. Our country was as unconscious of them as it 
had been of poetic melody a hundred, yes, fifty years before. The 
sense had become atrophied, if ever it had existed. It is more 
than likely that through all the generations of our ancestry it had 
never been awakened. 

Among the famous examples of bronze doors — the Ghiberti 
Gates, the Pisano portal, the Rodin " Inferno" — there is no ques- 
tion, from a decorative standpoint, of the humble rank of the 
American contributions. In them neither Rogers nor Crawford 
added anything to the world's sum total of beauty. Crawford's 
design possesses rather more of spontaneity and vigor than Rogers's ; 
but the latter is better done — as cabinet-work. Crawford's 
imagination leads him into difficulties where he is helpless; 
Rogers's, distinctly more commonplace, avoids absurdities. Neither 



90 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

work shows one hint of plastic charm ; the compositions are 
as lean in ensemble as they are dry in detail. Their chief value lies 
in their sincerity, which, as Mr. Brownell observes, is in art a very 
elementary virtue. They are as straightforward and brusque as a 
backwoodsman's story, as unadorned as a market report. 

Even in a photograph the Ghiberti Gates sparkle and gleam 
with mvriads of accents. Broad strokes reflect the light like the 
valleys of waves ; again these are beaten into a very foam of subtle 
forms silhouetted against creeping shadows. Veiled distances add 
their mysterious charm, and the borders are like spent ripples upon 
a smooth beach, where at every step one catches the gleam of a pearly 
shell half imbedded in the sand, and where seaweeds and algce 
reach out tremulous fingers to the faithless tide. To call those little 
enshrined men and women of the borders, "pearls," is no exaggera- 
tion of their value. Ghiberti's doors have been a mine of jewels for 
all the artists who have followed. Michael Angelo did not disdain 
to borrow from them. Each of those tiny figures is potentially a 
great statue. As has been said by the author of " Italian Sculpture 
of the Renaissance": " So gracefully posed are they, so elegantly 
draped, so exquisitely wrought, that one longs to take them in one's 
hands, to finger them, examine each perfect little whole on all sides." 
It may be safely ventured that no one has ever desired to handle 
the Washington bronzes for the mere sensuous pleasure of touch. 
The sculptors of the Capitol have succeeded in eliminating all 
charm of flowing forms and of delicate gradations. Every figure is 
sharp cut and strikes the inexorable background with a bump. 
Over all is the harsh finish of the foundry instead of the loving 
caress of the sculptor's hand. 

What right, one may ask, have we to compare these examples of 
primitive American art with the acknowledged masterpieces of the 
past — the life-works of great artists ? Why should we wish to make 
such comparison, to the injury of our national pride ? And the 
question may be answered: Merely as we would refer a pupil back 
now and then to his early imperfect studies. It is not American 
sculptors as much as American sculpture which we have under con- 
sideration. Its advance has been marvellous during the last fifty 
years. To measure this progress we must use some standard, and 



CRAWFORD AND SCULPTURE AT THE CAPITOL 



91 



nothing is more certain than the best. Even the individual need not 
suffer through such test, unless his fame is founded upon error. It 
behooves us to speak wittingly of those whom we exalt as heroes, 
lest we be sometime discomfited. 

It may be urged that the subjects treated by Crawford were un- 
grateful ones as compared with those which flowered under Ghi- 
berti's touch. Our American sculptor was debarred all beautiful 
staging of his theme. He was handicapped by actualities, foremost 
among them being the costume of the eighteenth century — not so 
bad as our own, to be sure, but lacking the colorful possibilities of 
flowing draperies. For him were no angel choirs and figures which 
" seem to be moving to melodies unheard." 

Such a plea carries much weight, and should not be overlooked. 
But in art criticism, as in judgments on life in general, we should 
remember that it is the solution of the particular problem that 
counts, not what might have been done under other hypothetical 
circumstances. We esteem a man for what he does with his indi- 
vidual talents. We gauge an artist by the success or failure of the 
thing accomplished, not by what he has dreamed of doing, or thinks 
he could do, or might have done in another century. 

Clark's comment is doubtless justified, that " Crawford's artistic 
education was much more complete than that of any previous 
American sculptor had been ; " but it is equally true that " he, how- 
ever, attempted too much, and did too much, for the work to be 
thoroughly well done." 1 Whether he had higher ideals of execution 
is perhaps doubtful, but we may say that he was the first American 
who really tasted the joys of unhampered sculptural invention ; who 
was completely wrapped up in his art ; who let it fairly " go to his 
head." The result was not always good sculpture, and he never 
produced great sculpture ; but it is of such natures as his, of such 
ardor, that artistic traditions are born. We must concur with Mrs. 
Radcliffe'- in pronouncing Thomas Crawford "the most notable 
pioneer of our native sculpture." 

1 "Great American Sculptures." p. 64. 

2 A. G. Radcliffe, " Schools and Masters of Sculpture," p. 483. 



CHAPTER V 

SOME MINOR SCULPTORS OF THE EARLY DAYS 

In this formative period of American art there lived a number of 
sculptors, contemporaries of Crawford, who, though not of the first 
rank, are nevertheless worthy of mention : Henry Dexter, John 
King, and Ball Hughes, who were born in 1806 ; Joel T. Hart, dating 
from 1S10; and Shobal Vail Clevenger, Joseph Mozier, and Chaun- 
cey B. Ives, who came into the world during the storms of 18 12. 

Dexter, although an enthusiastic devotee of his profession, can 
scarcely be considered an important factor in American art. When 
it is said that he was a " self-taught genius," his standing is more 
or less defined, since it is an impossibility for any one to teach him- 
self the whole of the technic of a great art. With all the good-will 
in the world, with the best of taste and the most perfect of aptitudes, 
the sculptor, like the painter, requires a guide who is able to abridge 
the years of groping, and to reduce the tribute which inexperience 
must ever pay where attainment stands for anything of value. Yet 
the story of this man is interesting — as is perhaps every man's 
when we get to the heart of things — and so typical that it must be 
given some space. 

Born on a farm, in New York State, in the midst of an unsettled 
wilderness, the boy seems to have been as nearly quarantined 
against artistic influences as it is possible for one to be. Neverthe- 
less, he found a way to gratify his desires : being without paper, he 
drew his pictures on cloth, and his colors he made for himself from 
the juices of fruits. Losing his father when only eleven years of 
age, he worked for a time on a Connecticut farm, and was later 
apprenticed, much against his will, to a blacksmith. He had hardly 
learned the trade when he married a niece of the painter, Francis 
Alexander. He made his first attempt at portrait-painting about 

92 



SOME MINOR SCULPTORS OF THE EARLY DAYS 



93 



this time ; but Alexander himself expostulated with him for even 
dreaming of giving up his trade, and he reluctantly continued it for 
seven years. In 1S35 he went to Boston, resolved that, whether 
successful or not, he would at least try to become an artist, and with 
the assistance of Alexander he soon made a certain reputation as a 
portrait painter. He practised his crude art for a few months until 
his friend, perhaps somewhat perplexed by the results, advised him 
to attempt modelling. We are told that " he at once achieved re- 
markable success in making portrait busts," and that his first order 
was for a marble bust of the mayor of Boston, Hon. Samuel A. 
Eliot, after which many of the most distinguished gentlemen of 
Boston made requests for similar works. " He made busts of Long- 
fellow, Agassiz, Henry Wilson, Cornelius C. Felton, president of 
Harvard College, Anson Burlingame, and of Charles Dickens, when 
that novelist visited Boston, as well as of several hundred others ; 
and the work executed entirely by his own hands was frequently of 
surpassing merit." x 

The latter remark must needs be qualified if we keep in view the 
men who are to follow ; but it may be said that Mr. Dexter's busts 
show good, honest work and often a large simplicity. They can 
hardly be called either intimate or profound ; but their superficial 
resemblance is at least as free from petty details as it is from signifi- 
cance of pose and complexity of analysis. Even so moderate a recom- 
mendation is impossible in the case of Dexter's half-dozen figures, if 
his statue of General Warren, at Bunker Hill, is a fair example. The 
commander's eloquent appeal to his troops, " Stand ! the ground's 
your own ! " would have carried little weight from a man of so 
unmartial an air. He himself must needs learn to stand before he 
could command others. 

The imagination of the sculptor is better illustrated by his some- 
what fanciful idea of making portrait busts of all the governors of 
the United States. This he actually accomplished in i860, travelling 
over every state excepting California and Oregon. He returned to 
Boston with his unique collection of casts; and after exhibiting them 
in the rotunda of the State House, set himself to the thankless toil 
of reproducing them in marble. It is needless to say that the 

1 •' Encyclopaedia of American Biography." 



94 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

patriotic project was frustrated by the Civil War, and that most of the 
heads were doomed to reach no such immortality. On the contrary, 
— and it is not a pleasure to record the fact, — these works, born of 
so great an enthusiasm and recorded vaguely as forming " a valuable 
portion of the art collection at Washington," are practically lost. 
In the storerooms of the National Museum, these and scores of 
other portrait busts are ranged in double rows upon the loftiest 
shelves. The dust of many years has drawn its compassionate veil 
over them all, as over the hopes and ambitions of those who gave 
them form. 

John King, a Scotchman, is interesting, likewise, because of his 
wanderings, and because of his relations with Hiram Powers. He 
came to this country in 1829 and found employment as a mechanic, 
successively in New Orleans, Cincinnati, and Louisville. In 1832, 
while working in Cincinnati, he met Powers, who recognized his 
talent and encouraged his first attempts in modelling. By the year 
1836 he was a professional sculptor, and in 1S40 he made busts of 
several prominent citizens of New Orleans, as well as a number of 
likenesses in cameo. He settled in the same year in Boston, where 
he made marble busts of Daniel Webster, John Ouincy Adams, Dr. 
Woodward, Agassiz, and Emerson. A bust of Commodore Morris, 
in the Corcoran Gallery, signed J. C. King, is conspicuous for its 
wrinkles and for its lack of other attributes. It is the product of an 
unskilled hand. 

Much more distinctive is the contribution of Ball Hughes, an 
Englishman, who had enjoyed in London the privileges of the Royal 
Academy and of the studio of the sculptor Bailey, with whom he 
worked for some years. He had already attained to some little repu- 
tation, particularly for his statuettes and busts of George IV, when, 
likewise in 1S29, he too decided to try his fortunes in the new country. 
Landing at New York, he remained for a time in that city, but finally 
settled at Dorchester, Massachusetts, in which neighborhood he 
made his home until his death in 186S. His most important work 
for New York City was a statue of Alexander Hamilton in marble, 
erected in 1835, in the rotunda of the New York Merchants' Exchange, 
which was destroyed eight months later by fire. This is said to 
have been the first portrait figure sculptured in marble in this 




FIG. II. — HART: HENRY CLAY, RICHMOND. 



SOME MINOR SCULPTORS OF THE EARLY DAYS 97 

country. Among the prized relics of the Boston Athenaeum — safely 
guarded in the attic storeroom — is the little model of this historic 
work. It is a slender figure, but has a very professional look, with 
much hip action, and the right arm raised in a heroic gesture, the 
whole showing a more vigorous and fluent treatment than might be 
expected from the author of the mild " Little Nell " on the deserted 
landing outside, or the " Dr. Bowditch," who occupies a more 
conspicuous place in the lower vestibule. 

But, for all his training, Ball Hughes's significance in American 
sculpture is historical rather than artistic. Not only did he carve 
what may have been the first marble statue made in this country, 
but he certainly modelled the first statue to be cast in bronze. 
This was the above-mentioned portrait of Dr. Bowditch, the 
astronomer, whose effigy is conspicuous at Mount Auburn Ceme- 
tery. It is a seated figure, upon a massive granite pedestal of 
Egyptian tendencies, surrounded by an iron fence. One approaches 
the "first bronze statue cast in America" with curiosity not 
unmingled with reverence. It is not an insignificant work. The 
scholarly doctor has a fine, intellectual head, in which the physi- 
cal has small share. His face is kindly, dreamy, almost smiling. 
He is attired in knee breeches and what looks like a quilted 
dressing-gown of ample folds, and is seated in a small but heavy 
chair, the sculptural solidity of which is cleverly enhanced by 
a curious fringed valance filling the spaces between its square 
legs. On the right knee the amiable student supports a large volume 
in a vertical position, his hand resting upon it. The left hand 
reposes in a somewhat deathlike fashion on its edge upon the other 
knee. Beside the chair is a large globe and a sextant; the base 
bears the inscription, "Executed by Ball Hughes, 1847." On the 
other side are more books and — a discovery ! After all our emotions 
we read here in impudently large letters, " Recast by Gruet Jne., 
Fondeur, Paris, 1886." So this is not the original bronze, after all, 
and we might better have contented ourselves with examining the 
original plaster cast in the Athenaeum. Inquiry at the office of the 
cemetery brings out the fact that the family had felt that the old 
cast was not good enough, so had boxed it up and sent it over to 
Paris to be translated into worthier form. Let us hope that they 



98 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

were satisfied, while we mourn the loss of that precious relic which 
was doubtless broken into fragments after serving as a model, and 
disappeared forever in the insatiable melting-pots. 

Among this sculptor's other works mentioned by historians is 
an " Uncle Toby and Widow Wadman " which is said to be in the 
Boston Athenaeum also, but which must be on the retired list ; a model 
of an equestrian statue of Washington, a statuette of Washington 
Irving, and a " Mary Magdalen." His bust of Irving is well known, 
but does not compare in distinction with Palmers rendering of the 
same subject. Probably his most noted bust is the portrait of 
John Trumbull in the Yale Art Gallery, which shows good con- 
struction and capable work throughout. It is draped in the custom- 
ary toga, very simply handled but with the unusual and rather 
incongruous feature of a decoration of some kind hanging on a 
ribbon which emerges from the neck opening. The hair is very 
hard and conventional, like wood-carving ; the face not less hard, 
with an unrelenting look which the slightly parted lips are unable to 
mitigate. The only flagrant faults of execution are the deep, con- 
cave furrows of the chisel above the eyes ; but despite these and 
the unwinning expression, the total effect is distinguished. The bust 
may almost be said to have style. 

It is remarkable that a man of Mr. Hughes's facility should have 
produced so little. Perhaps he realized early that he had no great 
revelation to make, and resolved to hold his peace. This is not 
literally true, however, for tradition has not suppressed the fact that 
in his later years Mr. Hughes was wont to deliver lectures on art, 
thus making himself honorary founder of the formidable line of 
" talking sculptors" in this country. Whatever may be the verdict 
of posterity regarding his work, — and posterity may not even take 
the trouble to consider it at all, — it is certain that the name of 
Ball Hughes will be remembered. However uninspired,, he chanced 
to be the first to do certain things important in the physical evolu- 
tion of his art, and no history of American sculpture can omit him. 

Of greater interest is the story of gentle Joel Hart of Kentucky, 
for whom a writer of his native state has recently made the follow- 
ing claim: " Born and reared in the primitive days of his state, and 
not many years after it had emerged from its swaddling-clothes, his 



SOME MINOR SCULPTORS OF THE EARLY DAYS 99 

native genius began to assert itself, and without instruction and 
without art surroundings he overcame all obstacles, reaching the 
highest prominence in his- profession, not surpassed by the Grecian 
or the Roman sculptors of the ancient, the mediaeval, or the modern 
age." * No doubt the venerable author of " The Old Masters of the 
Blue Grass " believed what he was writing, and felt that no eulogy was 
too exalted ; but the sentence expresses even more than he intended, 
for it gives a glimpse of a point of view and a standard of criticism 
not unlike that which prevailed some fifty years ago in the east, 
where local enthusiasms ran high, and where budding geniuses of 
poetry, painting, and sculpture were endlessly coddled. 

Mr. Hart was born in Clark County, Kentucky, not far from Win- 
chester, on the tenth day of February, 1S10. His parents were people 
of character, intelligence, and wealth. The family possessions were 
lost through the dishonesty of an agent about the time that the 
young Joel was ready to begin his education. A period of three 
months in the local school was all that was permitted him ; but thanks 
to studious habits and the aid of elder brothers, the boy equipped 
himself for teaching before he had emerged from his teens. This 
education he gained by reading at night by the light of a wood 
fire, for his days were spent in rough mason-work, especially in 
chimney-building. In 1830 he found employment in a stone-cutter's 
yard in Lexington, whither came shortly young Clevenger of Cin- 
cinnati, whose mission in Lexington was to model a bust of Henry 
Clay. The intelligent stone-cutter was privileged to watch the prog- 
ress of the work and became convinced that he could do it also. 
Materials and subject were not lacking, and the ambitious youth 
was soon engaged in portraying another of the Kentucky Clays ; 
in this case the future general, Cassius M. Clay. 

The bust had a great success, " proving an epoch in the art circle 
of Lexington," and displaying " a high degree of excellence which 
is attained by others only after years of experience." Mr. Hart 
essayed next a bust of Andrew Jackson, which he modelled from life 
at the Hermitage, and this proved so satisfactory that the aged 
general ordered a copy in marble. Other commissions followed 
from all sides. 

1 " The Old Masters of the Blue Grass," by General Samuel Woodson Price, p. 149. 



IOO 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



A trip to Philadelphia, New York, Washington, and other places 
of interest, including Richmond, Virginia, gave the sculptor his first 
acquaintance with statuary. He took with him his bust of General 
Clay, and had a flattering reception everywhere. In a letter to his 
brother he mentions having met a host of distinguished men, and 
having " received attention enough for a lifetime." More impor- 
tant, however, is the fact that while in Richmond he was commis- 
sioned by an association 
of ladies to execute a 
statue of Henry Clay. 
This he began in 1846 
from life. It took him 
three years to complete 
his model, which, except 
in the matter of like- 
ness, was hopelessly bad 
when finished. The 
figure was finally cast 
and shipped to Italy, 
whither Mr. Hart fol- 
lowed, reaching Flor- 
ence in the autumn of 
1S49. He waited long 
for the expected model, 
even journeying to Paris 
and London to while 
away the time. In Lon- 
don he studied anatomy 
at a medical school — 
so we are told — for fourteen months. Returning to Florence, his 
forebodings were confirmed ; his model (and presumably the vessel 
which bore it) had been lost at sea. Fortunately a duplicate cast 
had been made, and this was ordered, arriving just one year later. 
Severe attacks of cholera and typhoid fever filled this period amply, 
but the would-be artist found time to devise a pointing instrument 
to be used in transferring measurements directly from the human 
face to the clay. He believed that he had invented an instrument 




Fig. 12. — Clevenger: Washington Allston, Pennsylvania 
Academy. 



SOME MINOR SCULPTORS OF THE EARLY DAYS IOI 

of great value, but it was never put to practical use except by him- 
self. One of its greatest services to its inventor was the adver- 
tisement which it gave him, a single notice in the London press 
bringing him orders for marble busts from "ten of the most promi- 
nent citizens," attracted apparently by the idea of " being done by 
machinery." * 

The Clay statue (Fig. n) was finally accomplished, though not 
until 1859. A matter of thirteen years seems to have been nothing 
to this ineffectual dreamer. In spite of his eulogists, it is evident 
that the lack of early training, particularly in drawing, proved a 
handicap throughout his life. Of course the length of time occupied 
upon a work really does not matter if the result be of permanent 
value ; but in this case the absolute nullity of the figure is so ob- 
vious, that one can but ask what the sculptor was about all those 
years. It is hardly necessary to say that the figure when unveiled in 
Richmond met with tumultuous applause. The only criticisms 
recorded were in regard to the modern attire, which evidently should 
have been Greek or Roman ; but the art authorities allowed this to 
pass. 

The marble orator still stands in the little summer-house which 
decorates a corner of the beautiful grounds of Virginia's capital. 
Here, while the tame squirrels scamper over his feet, the traveller may 
study the timid realism of the statue and muse over its misleading 
inscription, " J. T. Hart, 1S47." From certain views the figure, 
which is apparently of not more than life-size, has a look of preter- 
natural gravity coupled with unstable equilibrium. The position of 
one of the hands, just touching an opportune table, adds to the 
illusion of precarious balance. While Houdon's " Washington " in the 
Capitol, a few hundred feet away, wears clothing so smooth and tight 
that he looks positively froglike as to his lower half, Mr. Clay 
rejoices in a suit which is " fulled up," as though by exposure to sun 
and storm. Coat-sleeves and trousers alike are composed of welts 
and sags. But there is no getting away from the admirably ugly 
head. It is modelled with great sincerity and well carved ; likewise 

1 Thomas Ball refers to this instrument in his autobiography as follows. " It was ingen- 
ious : but no other mortal would ever make use of it, and he [Hart] never would have used 
it had any other mortal invented it." 



102 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

it is full of life. The excellent bust of Clay in the Corcoran Gallery- 
is doubtless from the same model. 

The sculptor came home with his work and met with ovations 
everywhere, the reception at Louisville being most agreeably accen- 
tuated by an order for a duplicate of the statue. Then New Orleans, 
always prompt in following up artistic successes, ordered yet 
another. Good times were now fully come to the gratified artist, 
and after providing for the reproduction of the figure he turned to 
more attractive fields. " Conscious," as his biographer suggests, " that 
he had not reached the highest niche of fame that had been attained 
by sculptors of previous ages, he realized that he must give full 
scope to his artistic powers." He had long been pursued by a 
dream of a fair nude figure, a woman holding an arrow out of the 
reach of an imploring Cupid. It was not his idea to show her in a 
playful, teasing mood, which might perchance justify the motif as a 
work of fancy, but in sober earnest. This most beautiful of all 
figures was to have a profound significance and an intelligible moral 
worth. The group's first title was " The Triumph of Chastity," but 
afterward with better taste, if not better sense, it was called "Woman 
Triumphant." Under one name and another it was a cherished 
ideal with the artist for thirty years or more. Doubtless they were 
happy years. The amiable sculptor lived in a state of soothing hal- 
lucination. These were wife and child to him — his all. He could 
never bring himself to part with them. They were never quite 
finished. To the remonstrances of acquaintances, Mr. Hart was 
wont to reply, " Why, my friend, it takes God Almighty eighteen 
or twenty years to make a perfect woman ; then why should you 
expect me to finish one in less time ? " 

The group received amazing compliments in its day. " The art 
correspondent, at Florence, of the London Athenczum, a paper of 
recognized authority in art matters, said in 1S71 that he 'considered 
it the finest work in existence, and that in 1S68 he had begged Mr. 
Hart to finish it at once, but he would not ; each year it grew more 
beautiful, and he now feared to urge its completion against the 
artist's better judgment' Other art correspondents of London 
journals years ago pronounced it the work of modern times, and 
other writers all agree as to its perfection." 



SOME MINOR SCULPTORS OF THE EARLY DAYS 103 

In reality the principal figure, as shown by good representations, 
is that of a well-proportioned and rather graceful woman, with a 
conventional head, the left hand raised high, holding the arrow out 
of reach of the child, and the right arm and hand hanging limp and 
expressionless. The Cupid is indistinguishable from thousands of 
others, ancient and modern. The group suggests a French clock 
ornament, though lacking, of course, the swing and the modelling 
of the best of these, i. c. the mastery of the skilled workman. We 
have scores of sculptors to-day who could do as good a figure in a 
single year. We have several who could model a vastly better one 
in a month. 

But it does not follow that these experts are any happier than 
was gentle, admirable old Joel Hart with his vision. Perhaps they 
are no truer artists. To love one's work as he did, to have faith 
in it to the end, seems about the finest thing imaginable. Attrac- 
tive in personality and refined in taste, Mr. Hart won to himself a 
large group of friends, whose appreciation filled his later years with 
joy. His blameless life closed Mar. 2, 1877, in Florence. He 
was buried in that city, but his remains were brought in 1S87 to 
this country and reinterred at Frankfort, Kentucky. 

Though helpless with the human figure, Mr. Hart made some 
interesting busts. His " Crittenden " in the Corcoran Gallery has 
a strange, long, and unhappy face, most carefully modelled and pol- 
ished. It is conscientious work, and compels our respect. His 
head of Henry Clay in the same collection is unquestionably good. 
Powers pronounced Hart the " best bust-maker in the world at this 
time," which shows that the two men had reached " at this time " a 
better understanding than when, in 1857, Hart wrote, apropos of 
his pointing machine, " The sculptor, Powers, and the rest of them 
in general, hate it like the devil, however friendly they would appear 
toward myself." Of the sculptor's two or three other figures, slight 
record remains. Tuckerman says, " Hart's 'Angelina' is beautiful" 
— and stops. Another was " II Penseroso," and a third represented 
a child with an apron full of flowers. 

The sequel of the story of " Woman Triumphant " is unique in 
the art annals of our country. A few years after Mr. Hart's death the 
women of Lexington succeeded in raising a sum sufficient for the 



104 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

purchase of a marble copy of the group. It was brought from 
far-away Florence to the Kentucky town, and for especial safety 
enshrined in the courthouse, a supposedly fireproof building. There 
it stood for some years, the pride of the city, and a subject of much 
discussion by the country folk and strangers generally. One day the 
fireproof courthouse started to burn down. It was saved after heroic 
efforts, but the timbers of the cupola had fallen within and crushed 
the poor marble lady and her mischievous companion into a thou- 
sand fragments. These were eagerly seized by the citizens as keep- 
sakes and carried to many happy homes. Not a chip was left. A 
clever workman could have patched them all together again and 
made the figure almost as good as new ; but the prized bits could 
never be traced. Like the pet kittens of our childhood, Lexington's 
glory had been literally " loved to death." 

Vividly contrasting with Hart's somnolent existence was the 
brief, strenuous career of that same " young Clevenger " who gave 
the elder man his first glimpse of the sculptor's art. Shobal Vail 
Clevenger was the son of a New Jersey weaver, who emigrated in 
1808 and settled on a farm near Middleton, Ohio. Here the son was 
born in 1812. He grew up in this primitive environment without 
display of special artistic gifts, until upon a visit to Cincinnati he 
chanced to see some bas-reliefs used as decorations on a building. 
They fascinated him and with the confidence of youth he asserted 
that he could do such work. As in so many cases, the way to 
immortality seemed to lie through the graveyard, and Mr. Clevenger 
was soon apprenticed to David Guion, a monument-maker of Cin- 
cinnati. He remained in his employ for four years, and returned 
to him after various independent ventures. It chanced one day 
that there was an angel to be carved on a tombstone. Mr. Cleven- 
ger essayed it, and succeeded to the admiration of his companions. 
A word of encouragement spoken to him in the marble yard, an 
introduction to Mr. Nicholas Longworth, and a very different hori- 
zon opened about the poor marble-cutter. The munificent patron 
of Hiram Powers, and of so many other men of talent, gave Mr. 
Clevenger a commission which he executed satisfactorily, and others 
followed, among them busts of William H. Harrison, and Henry 
Clay. 



SOME MINOR SCULPTORS OF THE EARLY DAYS 105 

Through Mr. Longworth's aid Mr. Clevenger was enabled to go 
to Italy, but following the practical advice of his patron, visited first 
the various large cities of the East, where he secured a number of 
valuable orders. As a result the public art collections of Boston, 
New York, and Philadelphia have examples of his work, which was 
limited almost exclusively to busts. There is record of a " North 
American Indian," carved in Rome in 1840; but whether this was 
more than a head, or whether still in existence, is unknown, although 
the work is said to have created much interest in its day as being 
" the first distinctively American sculpture." 

Clevenger died in 1S43 a t the untimely age of thirty-one. His 
death was particularly pathetic, occurring as it did at sea upon a 
homeward voyage. He had embarked because of a threatening dis- 
order of the lungs, but the end came unexpectedly and his body was 
consigned to the ocean within a day's sail of Gibraltar. No biog- 
raphy of him is complete without Tuckerman's felicitous and kindly 
comment that the young sculptor's life " was for the most part 
happy and altogether honorable." He had scarcely begun his work 
when it was done, and we have no data for estimating his imagi- 
native force. What impresses one in his art is its fidelity to 
nature and his skill with the chisel. In the Boston Athenaeum 
are three of his busts which illustrate these qualities : Judge John 
Davis (1839), an ugly face most lovingly detailed; Lemuel Per- 
kins (also of 1839), with broad expanse of manly bosom, sleepy eyes, 
and good large modelling, though rather puffy in effect, and hair 
treated in a softer and more truthful way than was usual ; and a 
bust of Allston (Fig. 12) which looks surprisingly like the one by 
Brackett in the New York Historical Society. 

The Metropolitan Museum has Clevenger's excellent bust of 
Henry Clay; and his "Webster" will be found in many collections 
and libraries. His " Edward Everett " is said to be an admirable 
work, which resulted in a warm friendship between the two — as, 
indeed, was the case whenever the young sculptor had similar 
opportunity to meet men of refinement and distinction. Tuck- 
erman observes sympathetically : " It was interesting to watch the 
seeds of this high intercourse germinate in the virgin soil of an 
unsophisticated mind. Clevenger, with the instinct of honest admi- 



106 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

ration, rejoiced in the new world of thought and humanity to which 
his talents had introduced him. It was his privilege, day by day 
for three years, to commune freely in his studio with men of varied 
culture and experience. The effect was visible in the high standard 
which at last became the goal of his desires. The free, social habits 
of his native region prevented any blind reverence or timid reserve 
from nipping these advantages in the bud. He frankly exposed his 
need of information, and, in the spirit of genuine improvement, 
gratefully availed himself of the conversation and suggestions of 
those he respected. This unpretending and assiduous bearing 
made him emphatically a favorite." 1 

While Clevens^er's actual contribution was slight, he had a 
greater influence than many who lived longer and produced more. 
His character, his personal worth and his winning manner; his 
delight in his work and his devotion to it, made a profound impres- 
sion upon all who knew him. If they had entertained doubts as to 
the value of this alien art, these must needs have been dispelled under 
the warmth of such heaven-born enthusiasm as his. There was no 
question in his mind whether sculpture was " worth while." Is it to 
be wondered, then, that the name and fame of Clevenger have been 
enshrined by the brotherhood, and that he is honored to this day 
for the promise that was in him ? He represents integrity in sculp- 
ture ; humility, if you will, before nature. Says Tuckerman with 
unusual grasp : " There was an exactitude in his busts that gave 
assurance of skill founded upon solid principles. The majority of 
our young artists essay the ideal before they have any just apprecia- 
tion of reality ; and with the presumption, not of genius, but of 
audacity, illustrate imaginary beings while incompetent to exhibit 
faithfully the tree that overshades their window, or the friend who 
praises their talent. Clevenger began in art where all noble char- 
acters begin in action — at truth." 2 

Clevenger had been dead several years before Hart sailed for 
Italy; but the tide was already setting in that direction, and the new 
arrivals of the later forties found established there not only the 
original three, — Greenough, Crawford, and Powers, — now attained 
to great prominence, but several other aspirants for fame. Most 

1 " Book of the Artists," p. 608. 2 Ibid., p. 607. 




FIG. 13. — MOZIER: PRODIGAL SON, PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS. 



SOME MINOR SCULPTORS OF THE EARLY DAYS 109 

of these men were doomed to disappointment ; but Joseph Mozier 
was more successful. He was born at Burlington, Vermont, and, 
like Clevenger, in the year 181 2. At one time a merchant in New 
York, his artistic tastes led him finally to abandon his business and 
to devote himself to sculpture. He sailed for Europe in 1845, and 
though at first quite untrained, opened a studio in Rome, practising 
his profession there until his death in 1870. In those twenty-five 
years he produced a long series of figures, among the better known of 
which are : " Pocahontas," " The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish," " Rizpah," 
" Rebecca at the Well," " Jephthah's Daughter," " White Lady of 
Avenal," "Undine," "Queen Esther," "Truth," and "Silence" 
(the last two belonging to the Astor Library, New York). The 
"Prodigal Son" (Fig. 13), his most ambitious work, is in the Penn- 
sylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and " II Penseroso " in Horticul- 
tural Hall, Fairmount Park. 

The " Rizpah" in the Metropolitan Museum was carved in 1869, 
and is so bad that the curators apparently do not know what to do 
with it. Inanity could hardly go farther. Knowing nothing else of 
the author, one would pronounce his art hopeless. In a nondescript 
costume the queer squat creature presents herself holding a torch 
above her head. She lifts it languidly in her left hand, while 
clutching in the right a staff terminated by a great horn. With an 
all too vivid impression of this inept figure, one is agreeably 
surprised to find in New Haven a marble of at least respect- 
able workmanship from the same hands, a life-size representation 
of Cooper's heroine, " The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish." Of course 
it is hard in treatment, — marble was not handled otherwise at 
that time, — but the action is good and the comely face expres- 
sive in a conventional way of hesitation or alarm, a look effec- 
tively enhanced by the lifted right hand and finger on chin. The 
distinctively Indian features of the costume are limited to the 
moccasins and to a chaplet of small shells around the head, the 
short skirt giving to the figure the look of a page. However, 
the curtailment of this portion of the costume is atoned for in part 
by the amplitude of the cloak which descends to the ground in 
many ripples and is caught up in the left hand with a graceful ges- 
ture. The hair is sharply grooved, and the hands are amateurish. 



HO THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

The bare arms and legs can scarcely be called shapely, for their lack 
of modelling is obvious ; but they are " well begun," and their pro- 
portions as well as their lines are good. Though evidently beyond 
his depth in anatomical subtleties, the sculptor demonstrates his 
conscience and his joy in the work by a triumphant display of the 
seamstress's art ; there is a " masterly " hem which is carried without 
faltering around the entire border of the mantle, and in which the 
stone stitches are as accurate as though done by the sewing-ma- 
chine. Despite such puerilities the figure is much more modern 
and interesting than the average of the time. Although appearing 
to us so nearly akin to other products of the day, it must have 
seemed to contemporaries a work of daring originality both in sub- 
ject and in treatment. 

The " Prodigal Son " is a group of considerable importance. The 
odd costume of the father and a certain atmosphere of indecision 
attract notice before better qualities are revealed, but these are 
easily discoverable, and the final impression is of a worthy theme 
very adequately conveyed in sculptural terms. That it is not lack- 
ing in emotional power is suggested by the following words : 
" There is much pathos in this composition, which appeals with 
directness and force to the hearts of those who pause in their ram- 
bles through the gallery to gaze on it. The benignity and fatherly 
tenderness of the old man are expressed in a language that all may 
read, and that requires no explanation or commentary." 1 

Hawthorne visited Mr. Mozier's studio in 185S, and seems to 
have been indifferently impressed by the sculptor's serious efforts; 
but his description of the man is striking. It brings back, as it were, 
light and shade into a faded photograph, and develops the guessed- 
at outlines into a vivid presentment of a personality. " April 3d 

[1858] ... A few days ago we visited the studio of Mr. , 

an American, who seems to have a good deal of vogue as a sculp- 
tor. We found a figure of Pocahontas, which he has repeated sev- 
eral times; another, which he calls 'The Wept of Wish-ton- Wish,' 
a figure of a smiling girl playing with a cat and dog, and a school- 
boy mending a pen. These two last were the only ones that gave 
me any pleasure, or that really had any merit ; for his cleverness and 

1 Clark, "Great American Sculptures," p. 121. 



SOME MINOR SCULPTORS OF THE EARLY DAYS in 

ingenuity appear in homely subjects, but are quite lost in attempts 
at a higher ideality. Nevertheless he has a group of the ' Prodigal Son ' 

possessing more merit than I should have expected from Mr. , 

the son reclining his head on his father's breast, with an expression 
of utter weariness, at length finding perfect rest, while the father 
bends his benign countenance over him, and seems to receive him 
calmly into himself. This group (the plaster-cast standing beside it) 
is now taking shape out of an immense block of marble, and will be 
as indestructible as the Laocoon, an idea at once awful and ludicrous 
when we consider that it is at best but a respectable production. I 

have since been told that Mr. had stolen, adopted, we will 

rather say, the attitude and idea of the group from one executed by 
a student of the French Academy, and to be seen there in plaster. 

" Mr. has now been ten years in Italy, and, after all this time, 

he is still entirely American in everything but the most external 
surface of his manners ; scarcely Europeanized, or much modified, 

even in that. He is a native of , but had his early breeding 

in New York, and might, for any polish or refinement that I can 
discern in him, still be a country shopkeeper in the interior of New 
York State or New England. How strange ! For one expects to 
find the polish, the close grain, and white purity of marble in the 
artist who works in that noble material; but, after all, he handles 
clay, and, judging from the specimens I have seen here, is apt to be 

clay, not of the finest, himself. Mr. is sensible, shrewd, keen, 

clever ; an ingenious workman, no doubt ; with tact enough, and 
not destitute of taste ; very agreeable and lively in his conversation, 
talking as fast and as naturally as a brook runs, without the slightest 
affectation. His naturalness is, in fact, a rather striking character- 
istic, in view of his lack of culture; while yet his life has been con- 
cerned with idealities and a beautiful art. What degree of taste he 
pretends to, he seems really to possess, nor did I hear a single idea 
from him that struck me as otherwise than sensible. 

" He called to see us last evening, and talked for about two hours 
in a very amusing and interesting style, his topics being taken from 
his own personal experience, and shrewdly treated. He spoke much 
of Greenough, whom he described as an excellent critic of art, but 
possessed of not the slightest inventive genius. His statue of 



112 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Washington, at the Capitol, is taken precisely from the Phidian 
Jupiter ; his ' Chanting Cherubs ' are copied in marble from two 
figures in a picture by Raphael. He did nothing that was original 
with himself." ' 

The fateful year of 1 8 1 2 saw the birth of yet a third, who was 
destined to become a sculptor and to enjoy a considerable popularity 
in his day. Chauncey B. Ives was one of the earliest as well as one 
of the most persistent of these voluntary exiles. The son of a 
farmer, he was born in Hampden, Connecticut. At the age of six- 
teen he apprenticed himself to a wood-carver, and later studied for a 
short time with Hezekiah Augur. In Boston he found the vocation 
which he was to follow with great industry and at least commercial 
success throughout a long life. His stay in southern Europe was 
rendered desirable by reason of weak lungs, but it was also inevitable 
with a sculptor of Mr. Ives's ideals. He possessed the true Italian 
instinct for pretty, merchantable wares, and concocted any number of 
easily born fancies like " Cupid with his Net," "Sans Souci," " Pan- 
dora," " Bacchante," and '•' Shepherd Boy." Returning to New York 
in 1855 for a short stay, — and harvest time, — he fitted up a 
" studio " so attractively that he was able to sell his entire collec- 
tion and return to Italy within two months, laden with numerous 
orders for replicas of his innocent works. 

Mr. Ives may have done some fine things, or at least dreamed 
them, but he is exceedingly unfortunate in his public representations. 
Several museums contain figures bearing his signature, and they are 
invariably trifling and weak in their conception — not even good 
sculpture in intention. His one idea seems to have been to make 
something " taking " and salable. In the Metropolitan Museum is 
his " Flower Girl," a graceful figure seated on the ground and lifting 
a garland over its head. The lines are not bad, but they lose all 
value through the fussy and unsculptural elaboration of details. The 
garland in particular is a miracle of misapplied patience, and around 
the base is scattered other equally painful vegetation. Probably it 
was the minute whittling of these flowers which insured the sale of 
the work; the conscientious carver has given good measure. It is 
preeminently Italian commercial sculpture, though in this case of 

1 Hawthorne, " Italian Note-Book," Vol. I, pp. 154-156. 



SOME MINOR SCULPTORS OF THE EARLY DAYS 113 

the higher grade. As much cannot be said of his " Rebecca at the 
Well " in the same collection. This little figure is so absurd that 
one feels its size a great merit. If it were of life-size, it would be 
intolerable. It might be difficult, however, to say what " life-size " 
would be, since the figure has the appearance of an overgrown child. 
There are only two or three other things in the museum which 
approach it in helpless ineptitude. 

In the Corcoran Gallery at Washington, Mr. Ives is represented 
by a figure of similarly slight import, though of better workmanship, 
" The Scholar," a pretty schoolboy " with shining face," holding a 
bunch of papers and apparently slipping from a stump. In the 
Capitol we find other unfortunate evidence of this sculptor's limita- 
tions. Connecticut, with misplaced loyalty to an aspiring son, gave 
him the commission for the two figures which represent the state in 
the National Hall of Statuary. The result may be seen in the two 
marble images labelled, respectively, " Trumbull " and " Sherman," 
which were introduced to that veiy promiscuous gathering in 1872. 
Description of these curious works would be unprofitable. They 
fit in nicely with the majority of their companions, but of all the 
dead men there they seem the most conscious of being dead, the 
most solicitous to appear alive. The " Trumbull " on the fa9ade of 
the Capitol at Hartford and the much vaunted bust of Lemuel 
Towne in the Yale Art School at New Haven are both insignificant 
works of no artistic value. 

It may be asked, Why, then, spend time upon this commercial 
sculptor if his art is so unworthy ? The answer is in the fact that 
while Ives was denied all the other artistic graces he possessed the 
prime one of adaptability. He made the kind of sculpture that the 
people liked. Almost more than any other he stands for the taste 
of our wealthy class during the last generation. In this respect he 
becomes important in the history of our progress. His sculpture 
did no harm, and on the other hand probably afforded a world of 
pleasure to wealthy ignorance — yes, and through the faithful stereo- 
scope to humbler ignorance as well ! There is no use in calling 
names, or in having any feeling about such art ; it came because it 
was precisely suited to its day. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE NATIVE ELEMENT IN EARLY AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Of very different fibre from Ives and Mozier was Henry Kirke 
Brown, who made contributions of great value to the development 
of what had remained thus far an essentially alien art. With some 
shadow of justice might the title of "the first American sculptor" be 
claimed for him also, if the emphasis be transferred to the word 
American. Brown owed less to Europe — that is to say, directly — 
than did any of his predecessors and colleagues who modelled figures, 
and some of his productions stand in the front rank of all our monu- 
ments excepting the very latest. Indeed, a foreigner, seeing for the 
first time his " Washington " (PI. V), which towers so majestically 
in Union Square, New York, would pronounce it the work of one 
of our greatest masters. If, however, his introduction to the artist 
should be by way of the " Ruth " or the " Boy and Dog " in the 
rooms of the New York Historical Society, he would infer that the 
author of these insignificant figures was absolutely without capacity, 
a conviction which Mr. Brown's " William Cullen Bryant," of pre- 
historic date, in the same building, would do little to dispel. 

The " Ruth," standing " amid the alien corn," is conventional and 

characterless as the veriest " Christian grace " of the graveyard, while 

the " Boy and Dog " (and bowl of milk on floor) is undeniably absurd. 

The child with inflated legs twists and tugs at the real chain which 

is all that keeps the dog and the supper apart. The emblazoned 

title, " Chi Vinci Mangia," is as unsatisfactory as a modern story, 

leaving the spectator in complete suspense. Mr. J. O. A. Ward's 

kindly characterization of Mr. Brown as " a good deal better man 

than sculptor " does not sound so strange in the presence of this 

puerile work. One's strongest impression is the thought that for 

their own future fame many artists would do well to look up and 

114 



. K 



****rt! 





PLATE V. 
BROWN: WASHINGTON, WASHINGTON. 






Mozier was H< irke 

value to th ment 

ially ali. ith some 

American sculptor" 1 be 

•ansferred to the word 

Brov , directly — 

. f j 10 modelled figures, 

our monu- 

the 

ically 

one 

rtist 

and Dog" in the 

ociety, he would infer that the 

as absolutely without capacity, 

liam Cullen Bryant," of pre- 

: i-ttle to dispel. 

is conventional and 

hich 

ied 

ory, 

Ward's 

man 

.- of this 

hat for 

look up and 

.M0T0HIH2AW .H0T0MIH2AW : MWO^S 



THE NATIVE ELEMENT IN EARLY AMERICAN SCULPTURE 115 

destroy certain of their minor productions before leaving this world, 
since they can never be sure of keeping even the most insignificant 
of them out of museums, where, as in the present instance, they may 
do a man's memory a great injustice. Is an artist or author as great 
as his highest flight, or should he be rated according to his average 
production ? In other words, is he greatest who does nothing but 
great things, or shall we rank still higher the man who often makes 
mistakes, but now and then reaches altitudes of surpassing distinc- 
tion ? One hesitates to say, but the decision might influence our 
estimate of Henry Kirke Brown. 

Mr. Brown was born at Leyden, Massachusetts, in 18 14, and 
showed early an aptitude for portrait painting. At eighteen he 
went to Boston to study that art with Chester Harding, but chance 
led him to attempt the modelling of the head of a friend. The 
new work proved so interesting, and the result was so satisfactory, 
that the young man impetuously renounced the brush for the 
modelling tool, and devoted himself henceforth to sculpture. Of 
course there was nothing to do but to go to Italy, and the mis- 
fortunes which thwarted for several years this cherished project 
were real tragedies at the time. In order to earn money, Mr. 
Brown practised civil engineering for a while in the West, — help- 
ing to lay out the first railroad in Illinois, — and later he went to 
Cincinnati, where, in 1837, at the age of twenty-three," he produced 
his first marble bust. In 1S40 he settled in Albany, whither Palmer 
was to follow him six years later. His own stay in that pleasant city 
was destined to be brief, for in 1842 good friends who had watched 
his struggle with poverty and bad health came to the rescue and 
supplied means for the long-deferred trip to Italy. The two years 
in Albany, with frequent visits to Troy, had been sufficient for the 
production of forty busts, as we are assured by the chroniclers. One 
is in doubt which most to admire, — the industry of the artist, or 
the powers of persuasion that inveigled so many into posing. 
Probably the persuasion resulted in large part from the kind 
offices of the "good friends." The measure of the young sculptor's 
achievement during those strenuous years becomes almost incredible 
when we read that he also modelled at this time figures of the 
" Four Seasons " for a citizen of Mount Hope. 



Il6 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

In Italy these habits of industry continued, and during the sojourn 
there of four years the artist produced the usual series of marble 
statuettes and reliefs for home consumption, among them the " Ruth " 
and " Boy and Dog " already noted, a " Rebecca," an "Adonis," and a 
" David." But the young sculptor did not seem to fit into the Old 
World environment so readily as had his three famous countrymen 
whom he found over there. We may imagine, too, that he had a 
suspicion that his talents were not at their best in these traditional 
themes ; at least one would infer as much from the fact that his very 
first undertaking upon his return in 1846 was to model and cast in 
bronze an " Indian and Panther," which has been pronounced one 
of his best efforts. Evidently there was no use in trying to make 
a classicist of him. As a sort of joyous celebration of his return 
to freedom, Mr. Brown, though ostensibly settled in New York and 
later in Brooklyn, made a series of visits and numerous studies 
among- the Indians. His "Aboriginal Hunter" is said to have 
been a great favorite in its day. As the orders began to come in 
there was, of course, work of a more conventional nature : a large 
bas-relief in the Church of the Annunciation, New York, and a 
statue of DeWitt Clinton in Greenwood Cemetery, where also is 
his " Angel of the Resurrection." In 1S51 Mr. Brown was elected 
full member of the National Academy of Design, New York. 
His first studio was in the old " Rotunda " on Broadway, long the 
home of the Academy. 

The practical work of bronze-casting should not be passed over 
lightly. Up to this point we have had no mention of artistic found- 
ing except the production of Ball Hughes's " Dr. Bowditch," the first 
bronze statue created in this country, which was perhaps actually ante- 
dated by the smaller " Indian and Panther." That Mr. Brown installed 
a miniature foundry in his studio, and successfully carried into the 
ultimate metal many small works, speaks volumes for his courage 
and his ingenuity. It is Mr. Ward's recollection, however, that, on 
account of its size, the group of the " Indian and Panther" was cast 
outside, by a Frenchman, but that the finishing was done in the 
studio. 

It was in February, 1853, one month after the unveiling of Clark 
Mills's " General Jackson," that Mr. Brown began the " Washington " 



THE NATIVE ELEMENT IN EARLY AMERICAN SCULPTURE 117 

of Union Square, New York, a work which erring tradition has de- 
nominated the first equestrian statue, in point of time, in the United 
States. Even Mr. Tuckerman makes this mistake, — perhaps it origi- 
nated with him, — though elsewhere giving correctly the two dates 
which disprove his assertion. His account of the work and its origin 
is interesting and authentic. Washington is represented " in the act 
of recalling his troops to repose ; the figure is bareheaded, the hat 
resting on his bridle arm, the sword sheathed, the right arm ex- 
tended as if commanding quiet ; the drapery is the simple Continen- 
tal uniform ; the face slightly upturned. . . . The subscriptions for 
this work were chiefly derived from the merchants of New York, 
through the earnest efforts of Colonel Lee ; they were paid in 
sums of $ 400 each. It was projected by Horatio Greenough, who 
was to have undertaken it with Brown, but finally abandoned the 
enterprise, after having efficiently promoted the subscription." 1 

The "Washington" was unveiled in Union Square, New York, 
on July 4, 1S56. To say that it is Mr. Brown's masterpiece, is not 
sufficient praise. ■ Though but second in point of time among the 
equestrian statues of this country, it still remains one of the best of 
many, and, whatever our progress, will always be good sculpture. 
Mr. Frank Edwin Elwell, of the Metropolitan Museum, stated the 
case none too strongly when he wrote of the sculptor and his work 
in a New York journal : — 

" The sum of all his mental powers seems to have been expended 
in this one glorious effort, which will be a pattern and guide to the 
profession for all time, for in it are honesty, truth, and dignity, and 
none of the straining after effect that eats up the soul of the artist 
and destroys his love of the noble and the true. Standing in front 
of this statue one appreciates the dignity and grandeur of the man 
that it represents. The statue tells of the sincerity and honor of 
the artist." 

The silhouette of the horse is simple and compact, yet full of 
animation. The great creature is adequate but well subordinated to 
the commanding rider. It is the character of the man and the reality 
of the moment that impress us. That noble gesture bespeaks the 
born leader of men. It awakens the imagination, summoning visions 

1 "Book of the Artists," p. 575. 



1 18 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

of tented fields and the glitter of arms; the figure stands no longer 
alone upon its narrow pedestal amid the rattle and roar of the busy 
highway, but is supported by an army of patriots invincible yet 
obedient. There is potency in such art. 

A negative character is not in itself worthy of esteem, and there 
is nothing negative about this splendid conception, yet it may be 
pointed out that the impression of serene dignity which the statue 
wears like an enveloping mantle is due in no small measure to the 
fact that, like the hero's legendary character, it has no glaring defects 
to catch and annoy the attention. In it is no artificial vehemence, no 
attempt at picturesqueness. We find, instead, composure and equilib- 
rium. The horse is solid on its feet, and the total mass is in good 
relation to the simple pedestal. There is a majestic moderation in the 
lifted arm. In its compelling sweep and in the eyes that look afield is 
an actual protection of the figure from too curious scrutiny. Nowhere 
is there harshness or meagreness of handling to attract the gaze. 
By both what he has put in and what he has had the good sense to 
leave out, the artist has succeeded in giving us here "the power and 
poetry of the realized ideal," of conveying to us the impression of a 
great man. 

How it all happened is a mystery. That this amiable and 
intellectual but generally commonplace sculptor should have done 
the "Washington" of Union Square seems marvellous. Perhaps 
his subject exalted him for the time being above himself ; perhaps it 
introduced him for a brief period to his own true potential self. At 
any rate, he came down again gently but securely and never did 
anything further that could possibly be termed great. 

Two other equestrian statues from his studio must engage our 
attention for a moment, for, while they lack the masterly qualities of 
the " Washington," they are by no means insignificant. One is the 
well-known and much liked " General Winfield Scott," erected in 
1S74 in Washington, D.C., a dignified figure well seated upon a quiet 
and very realistic steed. The latter has all four feet upon the ground, 
and is an admirable, well-behaved horse, if not a distinctly sculptural 
conception. Although the quadruped is considerably more alive 
than its rider, and correspondingly more interesting, this must be 
counted one of the best equestrian groups in Washington. The other 




FIG. 14. — BROWN: GENERAL GREENE, WASHINGTON. 



THE NATIVE ELEMENT IN EARLY AMERICAN SCULPTURE 121 

work referred to above is in the same city, the curious " Nathanael 
Greene" in Stanton Place, which was erected in 1877 m fulfilment 
of a vote of the Continental Congress of nearly a century before. 
The horse is carefully constructed and faithfully modelled, but the 
silhouette of the rather undignified pose offers a surprising contrast 
to the stately work in Union Square. The contrast is all the more 
notable for the reason that the general motif is the same in both — 
a commander with uplifted right arm. But in the latter work the 
open-mouthed " charger " jogs along like a weary draught-horse, and 
the rider looks around to see what we are thinking of him. The 
effect is far more striking than noble. 

Mr. Brown is well, or at least abundantly, represented in the 
National Statuary Hall in Washington, where no fewer than four 
figures bear his signature: General Nathanael Greene of Rhode 
Island (Fig. 14); Vice-President George Clinton of New York; 
Richard Stockton, and General Philip Kearney, the two latter of 
New Jersey. The first is a respectable, ineffectual kind of a figure, 
showing considerable skill, but awakening no interest. The costume 
is that of the Continental army and is very well handled, though 
with almost Italian insistence. The left hand presses the marble 
sword firmly against the breast ; the right clutches the hip just as 
firmly, but without apparent reason. A trailing cloak helps to hold 
things together. The "Clinton" is a dapper little bronze gentleman, 
looking in various directions, and making much display of sword 
and gloves. The upper and lower parts have a queer look of be- 
longing to different figures, the head and shoulders being out of 
proportion and out of place. The " Kearney " has a much more 
manly appearance than the " Stockton," and shows a good strong 
profile. The body has the same dislocation observed in the " Clin- 
ton," the shoulder drooping on the side where it should be raised. 
Altogether these figures, like many of Mr. Brown's carefully finished 
busts, give the effect of topographical maps of the individuals rather 
than of distinctive personalities. All men, according to Napoleon, 
lose upon nearer view, and one feels the truth of this observation 
when, in the gallery of notables, he studies their wrinkles and the 
shapes of their ears as if they were stuffed creatures in a museum. 
It is particularly unfortunate for those great men whose sculptors 



122 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

have seen nothing but wrinkles and earmarks, modelling faithful 
masks, but putting nothing behind them. These superficial por- 
traits confirm the belief that Mr. Brown was at his best in eques- 
trian subjects. In his " Washington," despite its archaic handling, 
he rose almost to the first rank. 

To retrace, for a moment, our steps : Mr. Brown had, at the 
beginning of the Civil War, an interesting and costly experience, 
which we shall allow Mr. Tuckerman to recapitulate. " In 1858 
Brown was commissioned by the state of South Carolina to execute 
a large group of thirteen figures for the new State House at Co- 
lumbia. His design represented Hope bearing the olive branch, 
figures of Justice and Liberty, and laborers in the rice and cotton 
fields ; when nearly completed this work was abandoned by the 
artist, in consequence of the outbreak of the Slaveholders' Rebell- 
ion, and was subsequently destroyed by the fire which consumed 
so large a portion of the city, and with it several studies and a 
collection of casts in his studio." ' Returning to the North, 
Mr. Brown settled at Newburgh, New York, where, in a pleasant 
rural .home, he made his residence until the time of his death in 
1886. Among other works of his not previously mentioned are 
a statue of Dr. George W. Bethune, said to have been made 
for the New York Historical Society, a statue of Lincoln in Union 
Square, New York, and another of the same subject for the city of 
Brooklyn. 

Mr. Ward, who was a pupil of Brown, describes his early teacher 
as a fine-looking man, tall and athletic. He was of rather a solemn 
mien, as befitted in those days the high priest of a mysterious art, 
and his speech was enriched with much philosophy. Despite his 
air of distinction, he was full of genial humor — a humor which 
would crop out most unexpectedly, and then be as promptly with- 
drawn into itself. His kind interest in his pupils is remembered 
gratefully by his one-time " boys " after the lapse of a half-century. 
An enlightened privilege of his studio was an evening drawing- 
class, where master and pupils worked together from the living 
model. Mr. Brown was a skilful draughtsman, and his instruction 
and example alike were of the greatest value to the aspiring geniuses 

1 '• Book of the Artists," p. 576. 



THE NATIVE ELEMENT IN EARLY AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



123 



grouped about him. Intentionally or not, his whole career was a 
protest against the influence of Italy on American art. As said 
before, he is the first strongly native factor in the development of 
our sculpture. 

The maker of the first equestrian statue in the history of 
American sculpture happened to be born one year later than 
Henry K. Brown. His name, Clark Mills, has already been men- 
tioned; his story, given at considerable length by Tuckerman, 
may be summarized. He was born in New York State in 181 5. 
He lost his father early and lived with an uncle up to the age of 
thirteen, when he was driven by harsh treatment to run away. 
Henceforth he took care of himself, working as a farm hand, with 
some slight schooling in winter. Later he did hauling, worked on 
a canal, and cut cedar posts in a swamp. Then he concluded to try 
employment on a higher plane and learned the trade of a cabinet- 
maker. He next became a millwright and followed this callino; for 
two years, when chance led to his engagement as an overseer in a 
plaster and cement mill. He drifted to New Orleans and thence to 
Charleston, South Carolina, where he learned to do stucco work, 
which business he followed until 1835, when he began modelling 
busts in clay. Art education seems to have been entirely unneces- 
sary, for he had his Yankee wits with him. 

He discovered a new method of taking a cast from the living 
face, which enabled him to make busts so cheaply that he soon had 
as much work as he could do. He then resolved to try cutting 
in marble, and after procuring a block of native Carolina stone, 
he commenced the bust of John C. Calhoun. Quite unfamiliar with 
the professional methods, he was compelled to invent a system 
of his own, which was a very tedious process, requiring extraor- 
dinary care. He soon, however, succeeded in producing what was 
then considered the best likeness ever taken of Mr. Calhoun. 
The bust was purchased by the city council of Charleston, and he 
was rewarded with a gold medal, bearing on one side the follow- 
ing inscription : — 

"^Edes Mores Juraque Curat Artesque Fovit. 

Ingenii premium virtuti calcar. 

Id. Apr. MDCCCXLVI." 



124 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

On the other side : — 

" To Clark Mills as a mark of respect for his genius for sculpture in his bust of the 
favorite son of Carolina, John C. Calhoun, and as an incentive to further exertions, this 
medal is presented by the City Council of Charleston." 

This was only the beginning of his good fortune. Presently 
means were afforded him for study in Europe, and this circumstance, 
finding its way into the newspapers, attracted the attention of John 
Preston, a wealthy gentleman who had befriended Powers, who 
wrote him inviting him to come to Columbia, South Carolina, to 
make busts of himself and wife, stating, also, that Colonel Wade 
Hampton desired busts of himself and daughters, and that he 
might cut them in marble when he had further advanced in the art. 
He went to Columbia and made ten busts. An incident occurred at 
this time which seemed to change his whole course. A friend 
remarked to the artist that he ought to see the statuary at Wash- 
ington before visiting Europe. 

" He replied that ' if he should spend his means in travelling 
about, he would not be able to accomplish his main object' — ' As for 
the expense,' said Mr. P., ' if you will go to Washington and take 
the busts of my friends Webster and Crittenden, I will pay your 
expenses there and back, and pay you for the busts also.' He 
readily accepted the offer, started for Washington, stopping at 
Richmond, Virginia, to see the statue of Houdon, which was the 
first statue he had ever seen. The first thins: he did after his arrival 
in Washington was to visit the Capitol, that he might feast his eager 
eyes on the statuary there. He saw much to admire, and much 
which, even to his unpractised eye, appeared imperfect. The dra- 
pery on the ' Statue of Peace ' seemed to surpass human skill, and the 
' Muse of History,' recording the events of time, he thought was the 
grandest and most sublime idea ever conceived. Of the statue of 
Washington, by Greenough, he thought the anatomy perfect, though 
he could not associate Washington with the statue. The crowd of 
visitors, so far as he could learn, invariably condemned it for want 
of historical truth. He came to the conclusion while standing there 
that, should he ever have an order for a statue, the world should find 
fault for his giving too much truth, and not for the want of it." 1 

1 "Book of the Artists," p. 584. 



THE NATIVE ELEMENT IN EARLY AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



125 



Now comes the important event of his life, an incident probably 
unparalleled in the history of sculpture : " An accidental circumstance 
here gave rise to the order for the Jackson statue (Fig. 15). He was 
introduced to the Hon. Cave Johnson, then Postmaster-General and 
President of the Jackson Monument Committee, who, on learning his 
intention to visit Europe, proposed that he should give a design for 
a bronze equestrian statue of General Jackson. Never having seen 




Fig. 15. — Mills: Jackson Monument, Washington. 

General Jackson or an equestrian statue, he felt himself incompetent 
to execute a work of such magnitude, and positively refused. The 
incident, however, made an impression upon his mind, and he reflected 
sufficiently to produce a design, which was the very one subsequently 
executed, and which now adorns the public square in front of the 
White House. He concluded to accept Mr. Johnson's offer, and, 
after nine months of patient labor, he succeeded in bringing out a 
miniature model on a new principle, which was to bring the hind 



126 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

legs of the horse exactly under the centre of his body, which of 
course produced a perfect balance, thereby giving the horse more 
the appearance of life. The model was adopted by the committee. 
A contract was made for the sum of $12,000, the bronze to be 
furnished by the committee. After two years' labor and hard study, 
he finished the plaster model. After waiting nearly nine months, 
Congress appropriated the old cannon captured by General Andrew 
Jackson, and, under various disheartening circumstances, the break- 
ing of cranes, the bursting of furnaces, after six failures in the body 
of the horse, he finally triumphed. On the eighth day of January, 
1853, the statue was dedicated." 1 

Other orders following rapidly, larger accommodations were 
required, and Mr. Mills purchased a farm about three miles from 
Washington for the purpose of erecting the necessary buildings, 
studio and foundry. Mr. Tuckerman continues : " Having completed 
the buildings, he was about to commence work, when a gale destroyed 
the studio. Before it was rebuilt the foundry was destroyed by fire, 
but it was rebuilt as soon as possible. After finishing the statue for 
New Orleans, he commenced the statue of Washington, which was 
completed and dedicated on the 2 2d of February, i860. In June, 
i860, Mr. Mills commenced the work of casting the statue of ' Free- 
dom,' after Crawford's design, which was completed in 1S63, and now 
stands above the dome of the Capitol." 

Who begrudges to-day to this brave pioneer his little meed of 
success ? Let us hope that he never became conscious of his 
defects. No one of that first generation is more completely the 
machinist. His grasp of his subject is a purely mechanical one; 
his motif in the Jackson statue, a problem in equilibrium. He 
never had seen an equestrian statue ; there was none in the country 
to see. It seems at first thought strange that America's initial per- 
formance in this line should be an attempt of surpassing audacity, 
but it is the story of all beginnings : the intrepidity of ignorance, 
the inevitable approach in the most roundabout way, and, equally 
important, the lack of a genuinely artistic inspiration. Having no 
notion, nor even suspicion, of dignified sculptural treatment of a 
theme, the clever carpenter felt nevertheless the need of a " feature." 

1 "Book of the Artists," p. 585. 



THE NATIVE ELEMENT IN EARLY AMERICAN SCULPTURE 127 

Perhaps he had heard of " action." Possibly he had seen an en- 
graving of Falconet's " Peter the Great." At any rate, he built a 
colossal horse, adroitly balanced on the hind legs ; and America 
gazed with bated breath. Nobody knows or cares whether the 
rider looks like Jackson or not ; the extraordinary pose of the horse 
absorbs all attention, all admiration. There may be some subcon- 
scious feeling of respect for the rider who holds on so well, but in 
spite of his frank efforts to call attention to himself, the appeal is as 
meagre as his personal charm, as precarious as his seat. 

The committee had expected something original and American, 
and they got it. The statue was so much more original than they 
had dared to expect that a delighted and grateful Congress insisted 
upon adding $20,000 to the $12,000 already paid. That it was well 
earned in hard work there is no doubt, and that the statue " filled a 
long-felt want " is evidenced by the order from New Orleans for a 
duplicate at an advanced price. The model being already made, 
this was profitable. But the clay of great things had come ; Mills 
was in the full tide of prosperity, for Congress had again shown its 
appreciation by voting him a much larger sum — $50,000 — for a 
mounted " Washington." 

Such is the story of the first equestrian statue of the United 
States, erected in 1853. As we compare this "prodigious Con- 
gressional joke " with Saint Gaudens's " Logan " and " Sherman," 
with Messrs. French and Potter's " Washington " and " Grant," with 
Ward's " General Thomas," we realize how far we have come. It 
is interesting, however, to note that a large part of this progress was 
made at a single leap. The very next equestrian sculpture, Brown's 
"General Washington" of Union Square, dedicated in 1856, was, 
and remains, as we have already seen, one of our best statues, and 
has a close second in Ball's dignified rendering of the same subject 
in the Boston Public Gardens. 

In comparison with these, Mills's second effort, his "Washing- 
ton," has only historic interest. It does not appeal to our curiosity 
even, as does the " Jackson," for with prosperity the artist seems to 
have lost his hardihood. Instead of making the brazen steed bal- 
ance on a single hoof, as logical sequence would seem to demand, 
he gave his admirers a Napoleon-crossing-the-Alps effect. The 



128 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

horse is a nervous, springy steed, whose flying mane and lashing 
tail are in singular contrast to the general, sitting so calm and 
collected above all this agitation. 

Busts in the Corcoran Gallery of Calhoun and Washington, by 
Mills, give us a more intimate notion of the sculptor's manner of 
working. The " Calhoun " head is strong and repellant, without 
grace of either handicraft or of personality ; the " Washington " is a 
diligent study of Houdon's mask. 

Little as we may find to-day in the sculpture of Clark Mills, we 
must feel grateful to him for his contribution, for doing what he 
could — yes, even for doing things so sensational that our hard- 
working grandfathers lifted amazed eyes upon them, and learned 
for the first time the meaning of the words equestrian stahie. 
While ignorant enthusiasm is not the most favorable environment 
for sensitive creative powers, it is so much better than apathy 
that Mills may be thanked for positively helping the cause through 
a period when it needed to justify itself with a larger public than 
the cultured circles of Boston and New York and Philadelphia. 

And let us not forget that this home-made sculptor not only 
designed and modelled those enormous creatures, but actually built 
his own foundry and moulded and cast the statues himself. To one 
who knows the difficulties of bronze-casting, this seems incredible. 
Verily, there were giants in those days ! Whatever we may think 
of Clark Mills the sculptor, we owe a debt of gratitude to Clark 
Mills, our first professional founder of statuary. 1 

1 Mr. Mills's last undertaking is briefly described in the American Art Review of 1881, 
p. 131. At this time he had prepared a design for an elaborate National Lincoln Monument, 
several " stories " in height, and including no less than thirty-six heroic statues, beginning with 
six equestrian figures of generals. "On the first story will stand figures emblematic of the 
war and its results, with historic bas-reliefs between them ; next above these the standing fig- 
ures of Lincoln's cabinet and of other prominent supporters of the cause of freedom ; still 
higher up, the statues of Liberty, Justice, and Time are to find a place, and the whole is to be 
crowned by the seated figure of President Lincoln." It was announced that $100,000 had 
already been contributed, and the work was actually begun by the making and casting of the 
figure of Chief Justice Chase at Mr. Mills's foundry. No further mention is to be found of this 
project, nor even of the one completed statue. Mr. Mills died in Washington in 1883. 



PART II 
AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

THE MIDDLE PERIOD, 1850-1876 



CHAPTER VII 

PALMER AND BALL 

Any attempt to divide a history of American sculpture into 
periods must be more or less arbitrary, but at this distance the prog- 
ress of the early art in the United States shows certain well-defined 
phases. From about the year 1850 it takes on a new tone. In- 
sensibly the naivetes of primitive effort have given way to good, 
competent workmanship, and it is no longer necessary to name the 
unskilled and the modellers of busts as representative sculptors. It 
was during this second period — 1S50 to 1876 — that our country 
experienced its most tragic ordeal : the Civil War swept the land, and 
was followed by an aftermath of desolation almost as sombre and 
quite as antagonistic to art as was the war itself. Yet through all 
this time sculpture grew — because it must — and even began to 
show signs of a national character. Aroused from their dreams by 
the drama in which they lived, our sculptors felt emotions that they 
had not known before, and a few of them ventured to seek expression 
for these feelings in their art. Timidly but hopefully American 
sculpture began to grow contemporaneous in spirit; the "actual" 
crept at last upon the stage, while classic themes gradually receded 
into pale obscurity. To be sure, a large proportion of our sculptors 
continued to go abroad, dwelling far removed from the life and 
thought of their country ; but an increasing number tarried at home 
from choice, or returned promptly with the training acquired in 
other lands. While their self-exiled brothers over the sea exacted 
tribute of all ancient history and mythology in their objective search 
for themes, these men struggled to express what was within their 
own souls. Certain of them, too, performed the wonder of reaching 
worthy eminence without the schooling which is to-day esteemed so 
essential. 



132 HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

The years 1817 and 1819 are noteworthy in the history of 
American sculpture, since they gave birth to Erastus D. Palmer 
and Thomas Ball, two of the most eminent artists among the re- 
markable men who loved sculpture instinctively and wrought it 
without instruction. It seems very strange that these two men, who 
are still living to-day, saw the very beginnings of American sculp- 
ture ; that the span of their lives covers the entire development of 
the art upon these shores. They were respectively eight and six 
years of age when Greenough went abroad in 1825. As boys of 
fourteen or fifteen, they may have read of the arrival of those 
"shameless" figures, the "Chanting Cherubs," and might even have 
seen William Rush, had chance taken them to Philadelphia. John 
Frazee and Augur they might have known for thirty years or more. 
They were almost young men when Crawford sailed for Italy in 
1834, and quite grown up when Powers followed in 1837. They 
have seen it all and remain to-day not only to wonder and rejoice at 
the marvellous progress of the century, but to receive the homage of 
an army of cadets who look upon them as personal friends and bene- 
factors. For these, far more than Greenough and Crawford and 
Powers, are the men who have shaped the pathway of American 
sculpture, who have made its present development possible. Even 
more than Brown is Erastus D. Palmer identified with a strictly 
national art, for Mr. Palmer had absolutely no study abroad, and 
only visited Europe for a short time in middle life. 

Tuckerman gives at great length the story of Mr. Palmer's early 
life, and pictures with sympathetic touch the scenes of his labors. 
We must content ourselves here with the barest outline. In 1845 
an intelligent young carpenter of Utica, New York, made in his 
moments of leisure a cameo portrait of his wife, which was recognized 
by one acquainted with such work as an admirable effort. Further 
experiments followed with so great success that in 1846 the joiner 
abandoned forever his saws and planes and, removing to Albany, 
devoted himself to this delicate art. In the space of two years the 
untrained artist executed over two hundred portraits, which were pro- 
nounced " perfect gems " by his enthusiastic clients. It must be 
noted in this connection that while the artist was untrained, the arti- 
san was not. All his life he had handled tools, so that his muscles 




FIG. 1 6. — PALMER: WHITE CAPTIVE, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM. 



PALMER AND BALL 1 35 

responded to his commands. With a natural sense of form and a 
manual skill that had already compassed wood-carving and fine 
cabinet work, he was far better prepared for achievement than is the 
most gifted of college graduates, who may indeed be " full of knowl- 
edge and enamoured of beauty," but whose hands are unresponsive. 

A seeming misfortune drove Mr. Palmer to take the next step 
forward. His eyes were weakened by the unremitting strain, and he 
feared that he might be compelled to return to his former employ- 
ment, when he was advised to try larger work in clay. The little 
bust of the " Infant Ceres," in which he pictured one of his children, 
has become almost historic. It was put in marble and exhibited at 
the National Academy of Design in 1850, marking the beginning of 
Mr. Palmer's career as a sculptor. Next followed two pretty reliefs, 
the " Morning Star " and " Evening Star," and then the " Spirit's 
Flight." Other bas-reliefs of the time are " Faith" and " Mercy," 
the former being that representation of a female figure, standing 
with clasped hands contemplating a slender cross, which was once 
so popular. Faded photographs of this work still hang in many 
old-fashioned homes, but few of its admirers know that it represents 
one of the earliest productions of the sculptor Palmer. The original 
is a large relief which he modelled in 1852 for Saint Peter's Church 
in Albany. 

His reliefs and ideal heads, like " Resignation," " Spring," " June," 
" Infant Flora," were in such demand that it was not until 1S56 that 
he essayed the full-length figure in the round. This first attempt 
was the " Indian Girl," a marble copy of which stands in the Metro- 
politan Museum. It is a modest little maid who hides quietly in a 
nook, content to let more strident works like MacMonnies's " Bac- 
chante " hold the centre of the stage. The mild little allegory, too, 
— the tiny cross on the ground and its imagined significance to the 
groping intellect, — seems to modern taste very childlike, but it was 
the poetry of the time, and the figure is astonishingly well done for 
a first attempt. It must be remembered that Palmer had not had 
the privileges of the Academy at Rome nor of the Beaux- Arts. He 
had not clone his bonJiomme every week for years, as the modern 
sculptor is obliged to do in the training of to-day. He was in a new 
field. This was almost his first glimpse of the marvellously complex 



136 HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

human form, and yet he produced a figure worthy of the marble and 
of preservation in our greatest museum. Tuckerman says, " Per- 
haps a better torso was never modelled in this country," and this was 
probably true when written, for the " Indian Girl " remains creditable 
work to-day. 

Meantime the artist within him was young, and Palmer, delighted 
to find that he could make a figure, allowed his ambition to take 
higher flights and even to flutter about that empty pediment of the 
south wing of the national Capitol. It was in 1S57 that the sculptor 
of a single statue had the audacity to design and model a group for 
this tympanum, representing " The Landing of the Pilgrims." It was 
small, to be sure, but very elaborate, consisting of sixteen figures 
about fifteen inches in height, and it is safe to presume that the 
composition was equal to that of Crawford's " Past and Future of the 
Republic," on the Senate front. The sculptor met with considerable 
encouragement, and was, indeed, persuaded that he was to have a 
commission for this enormous undertaking, but his project was 
opposed by the then Secretary of War, John B. Floyd, on the ground, 
apparently, that the Pilgrims were not the only founders of the 
nation, and the plan was ultimately abandoned. Very fortunate it 
was for the sculptor that he and the country were spared such an 
exhibition of his immature art. 

Mr. Palmer returned to more modest themes, and by doing them 
as well as he knew how won a far more lasting triumph than would 
have been his had his storm-tossed Pilgrims made harbor in the 
gable end of the House of Representatives, for the next year (1858) 
saw the birth of the delightful little figure, the " White Captive " 
(Fig. 16), one of the most charming things yet done by an American 
sculptor, and one of the earliest to show the quality of expressiveness. 
No photograph gives an idea of the grace of this virginal form. A 
slight stiffness in the finely proportioned leg which bears the weight, 
a vague suggestion of rigidity in the bod} - , the face and head a trifle 
large — these are the most obvious defects in the reproduction, but 
they disappear when one contemplates the original. The lower 
limbs are seen to be exquisite, the movement of the torso is grace 
itself as one circulates about the figure, and the disproportion of head 
and body is merely that of youth when the maturing frame has not 



PALMER AND BALL 137 

yet " caught up." One might well indeed be captivated by this 
poetic translation of the simple-hearted girl who posed for the 
statue. To think that anything so refined and sympathetic should 
have been carved in this country in 1858 ! It is not strange that we 
should have poets who could imagine radiant beauty ; but that an un- 
schooled hand should model with such a combination of tenderness 
and firmness, that it should create at the same time elegance of pose 
and eloquence of appeal in a work of rare perfection is indeed a mar- 
vel. In all those years nothing so fine had come over the seas from 
Italy ; nothing so original, so dramatic, so human ; nothing that could 
approach it even in charm of workmanship. The carving of the 
head, the chiselling of the hair, the modelling of the beautiful right 
hand, would be complimented in the very home of sculpture. 

It might be said of our early sculptors, as it was of our early 
poets, led by Longfellow, that they " ransacked the world for the 
rough jewels which they polished to the taste of the American pub- 
lic." The inspired workman of Albany, instead of joining this rest- 
less procession of seekers, found jewels enough in his own rapt fancies, 
and his model in the next street. No " classic " conventionalities 
for him ! " What is done, is done ; why should we do it over again ? " 
he seemed to say as he turned impatiently from the flood of Ameri- 
can imitations of Canova 's art — an art which consisted largely in turn 
of weak imitation of Roman imitations of Greek statues. There 
was beauty enough around him, even there in Albany; why, then, 
should he wander, and why should he borrow from the past ? Palmer 
had within him somewhat of the " gift of second sight " of which 
Lowell spoke as " transfiguring matter of fact into matter of mean- 
ing " ; at least, he gave to the individual something akin to the large- 
ness of a type, and in his best works there entered a quality of ideality 
as precious as it is rare. Above all, he bestowed upon them charm. 
There is scarcely a creation of his, however naif, however primitive, 
that does not possess this quality. They never fail to give a positive 
pleasure. 

All this while there were notable portrait busts coming from the 
studio in Albany — busts more intensely individual and yet more 
typical than America had been accustomed to ; their workmanship, 
as well, was a revelation to a public acquainted only with the unskilful 



138 HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

products of an earlier day. Such modelling and carving of hair and 
flesh, such dreaminess of eyes and grace of drapery, seemed too beau- 
tiful to be true. We have had greater artists since, and other 
" revelations," but the work of Mr. Palmer remains good sculpture 
still. Among those early busts are portraits of Hamilton, Commo- 
dore Perry, Washington Irving, Governor Morgan, Moses Taylor, 
Erastus Corning, Henry Burden of Troy, and a bronze of Dr. Armsby 
in Washington Park, Albany. 

The bust of Irving stands in the vestibule of the New York His- 
torical Society's building, where it is conspicuous for its admirable 
carving. The expression is the well-known kindly smile, a trifle sleepy, 
but full of amiability. The caressing touches and accents of the chisel 
have been so tastefully administered as to make this bust a work of 
art quite irrespective of the likeness. Its ghostly comrades look very 
crude or characterless beside it ; one almost expects to hear them 
clamoring to be "done over." The bust of Henry Burden is an even 
finer work — a Calhoun-like head with long hair swept back in waving 
masses and falling below the ears. But the face itself is far from 
being that dreary mask which the great Southerner habitually wore 
in the eyes of the world. Quite as picturesque and as full of char- 
acter as his, it is also animated, kindly, and responsive. The deep- 
set eyes seem to glow under the heavy brows ; the finely characterized 
nose is strong; the mouth is good-humored, but with a look of the 
inevitable in its corners and in the massive chin beneath. The 
sinewy neck is bare, and rises from shoulders covered with broad 
drapery. It is difficult to conceive a finer bust. While the subject 
could hardly be surpassed, the workmanship is worthy of the theme, 
and shows conclusively that in the year 1862 Mr. Palmer was already 
a master in his art. 

The following year, one of the most tragic in the history of the 
country, gave birth to Palmer's "Peace in Bondage" (Fig. 17), a re- 
lief showing the head and winged torso of a beautiful female figure 
leaning, weary and hopeless, against the trunk of a tree, to which she 
is presumably bound. The modelling of the body is large and dis- 
tinctly sculptural, without offensive realism, the expression of the fine 
profile very subtle and appealing ; the arrangement of the hair and of 
the wilted olive wreath, and particularly the treatment of the wing, 



PALMER AND BALL 139 

are worthy of the highest praise. Both in conception and in work- 
manship this relief marks the great strides which the sculptor had 
made since the production of his amateurish " Faith " eleven years 
before. " Peace in Bondage " is a poetic thought, poetically ex- 
pressed. Such art well merits the characterization of " lyric," which 
has been applied to Mr. Palmer's work by Marquand and Frothing- 
ham. 1 How little there is in our sculpture which can be called lyric, 
or poetic in any sense ! Works such as this are precious, even 
though some, in their sophistication, may consider them scarcely " up 
to date." 

There were other figures of minor importance, like the " Emi- 
grant's Children," the "Ambush Chief," the "Sleeping Peri," the 
"Little Peasant," "Pleasures of Memory"; but the next production 
of note was the great figure of the seated " Angel at the Sepulchre " 
(1S65), a monument in Albany cemetery, which is conceived in simple 
sculptural fashion, and possesses the double charm of beauty and of 
fitness. The drapery is handled in a large way, yet is admirably 
true; the earnest face is full of power. How Clark 3 could see in it 
a " fleshy and unangelic type " it is hard to understand. Perhaps the 
charge would be more comprehensible if one could project himself 
back to the centennial year, and remember that up to that time sculp- 
tured angels seldom had bodies in their flowing garments, and that 
anything more than a conventional face was counted revolutionary. 

It was not until 1873 that Mr. Palmer saw Europe. He remained 
abroad nearly two years visiting the various capitals, finally taking a 
studio in Paris for a few months while he executed his statue of 
Chancellor Robert R. Livingston of New York for the national 
Capitol. This bronze, although rather smaller than the average in 
Statuary Hall, and less conspicuous in gesture, is one of the few 
worthy figures there. To ask that a modern portrait of a man should 
possess grace and beauty, is almost unreasonable ; but both of these 
attributes are found in Mr. Palmer's " Livingston." The sculptor 
was fortunate in his subject ; the subject fortunate in falling into 
the hands of a true artist with an appreciation of refinement. This 
quality he has expressed with great delicacy, not only in the face, but 

1 '•' A Text-Book of the History of Sculpture," p. 279. 

2 "Great American Sculptures," p. 118. 



140 



HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



throughout the pose, and particularly in the modelling of the sensi- 
tive hands. Life and personality are here, yet withal the self-restraint 
of a dignified nature. The mass of the figure is ample and not cut 
up ; within its harmonious contour is a charming disposition of 
drapery, which seems to be the result of the perfectly unstudied pose 
of the arms. That this effect of drapery is the reason for the pose, 
is known only to the artist who planned it all with so much skill, and 




Fig. 17. — Palmer: Peace in Bondage. 

to the few by whom such skill is appreciated. The right arm hangs 
gracefully, the hand grasping a roll of documents. The left hand 
gathers up the official robe and rests lightly upon the hip. The 
modelling of the drapery is severe, but varied in color. In matter of 
interpretation, of charm, and of artistic integrity, nothing finer had 
been done up to this time (1874) by an American sculptor. Although 
previously installed in the Capitol, the " Livingston " was exhibited 
at the Centennial in 1S76, where it received a medal of the first class. 



PALMER AND BALL 



141 



We are not yet converted to the Tolstoian creed, that "great 
works of art are great because they are accessible and comprehen- 
sible to every one," since the logical ultimate test would have to be 
the appreciation of the savage ; but the fact that a man's art is loved 
of many does not necessarily disprove its admirable qualities. It may 
convey thoughts of universal significance, couched in terms of such 
beauty that all must acknowledge their appeal, and still it may con- 
form to the demands of the severest of critics. It is a blessed 
privilege to be able thus to address the multitude, and when to their 
appreciation is added the respect of one's colleagues, an artist has 
certainly attained to the utmost of his dreams. It is better than to 
have put a pediment in the Capitol ! Mr. Palmer's influence has been 
potent in America, interesting thousands in a beautiful art, and 
raising the standard of workmanship all along the line. To helpless 
and disappointed aspirants, grieving for Italy, his example was an 
encouragement as well as a rebuke. It counselled in manly tones to 
make the most of self, with the material at hand. The use that he 
made of this material and the essential ideality of the man proclaim 
him the most significant figure in the early development of what is 
now almost a national art. 

Thomas Ball spent many years abroad, but has never been out of 
touch with his native land. He had reached middle age — at least 
the meridian of an average life — when he first went to Italy ; he 
made frequent visits home ; and above all he never succumbed to 
the enervating Italian influence. Despite his long sojourn in 
Florence, his art remained fundamentally his own, and therefore 
American. It speaks volumes for the underlying strength and 
rightness of his personality that from first to last, from the untutored 
beginnings to the masterful products of the great Florentine studio, 
his work has always been good sculpture and generally of the most 
dignified and monumental type. In the whole output of a notably 
industrious career there is not one hint of the meretricious or the 
commercial. Through all his work, as throughout his life, is found 
an atmosphere of cheerful earnestness and an essential nobility. 

If every artist had left so trustworthy and modest a record of his 
life as Mr. Ball prepared for us some years ago in his autobiography, 1 

1 "My Threescore Years and Ten." Boston, 1891. 



142 HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

the historian's task would not only be rendered easy, but would 
become a delight. The simplicity of the narrative carries one along 
until curiosity gives way to sincere friendliness for the handsome 
young man of 1857 and for the venerable patriarch of 1890 whose 
features are pictured on the pages of the book. It would be an 
injustice to attempt to paraphrase this account, and to quote is diffi- 
cult ; a brief summary must therefore suffice. 

Mr. Ball's father was a house and sign painter of Boston, a man 
of more artistic temperament than his humble lot would indicate, 
but for some years before his early death an invalid. The son 
Thomas was born into this world on the third day of June, 18 19, 
and fared well despite poverty. One of his earliest recollections is 
that of a visit to the State House with his father, and of his wonder 
at Chantrey's white-robed statue of Washington which had recently 
been placed there. The child grew, and after the death of his father 
undertook the support of the family. A position as boy-of-all-work 
in the old New England Museum was one of the determining steps 
in his progress, since it led to silhouette-cutting, the study of draw- 
ing and engraving, miniature painting, and finally full-length por- 
traiture and even historical composition. 

The young artist was well established and enjoying a modest but 
securely founded success when an incident turned his attention to 
modelling. His first bust, a small one of Jenny Lind, done from 
photographs, had a great vogue, as the " Swedish Nightingale " was 
then at the height of her fame and popularity in this country. It 
was followed by other " cabinet " busts, principally of musicians, with 
whom Mr. Ball was intimate; for the sculptor was also a vocalist of 
no little reputation, a participant in all of the oratorios of Boston, 
and the first in this country to sing the title role of Mendelssohn's 
" Elijah." Mr. Ball's earliest attempt at a life-size bust was a por- 
trait of Daniel Webster which met with great success and led to the 
modelling of a statuette which grew in turn, many years later, into a 
large statue of Webster — the same that is now standing in Central 
Park, New York. The little figures found ready sale, and brought 
the young sculptor a gold medal from the Charitable Mechanics' 
Association. 

In 1854 came the long-anticipated opportunity to go abroad, and 



PALMER AND BALL 



143 



Mr. Ball, now thirty-five years of age, set sail with his bride for the 
" promised land." Florence was their destination ; to be a part of 
that tiny but far-famed art world their ambition. Greenough had 
returned to America and had died two years before ; but they 
were made welcome by Hart and Hiram Powers and installed in 
the apartments occupied some twenty years earlier by Clevenger. 
Among their associates were Thomas Buchanan Read and the 




Fig. 18. — Ball: Washington, Boston. 



painter Francis Alexander. They also made the acquaintance of 
the Brownings and of many other celebrities. The first undertaking 
in Florence was a study of the nude called " Pandora " ; then a 
"Shipwrecked Sailor-Boy"; a statuette of Washington Allston; 
a bust of Napoleon I, and other minor works. 

At the end of two years the sculptor returned to Boston, where 
he remained until 1865. In spite of national disturbances he was 
kept well employed during this period ; at first with portrait busts 



144 HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

and statuettes, 1 and ultimately with one of the principal works of his 
life, the famous " Washington " (Fig. 18) of the Boston Public Gardens, 
the first equestrian group in New England, and the fourth modelled 
in the United States. Mr. Ball built it up as Mr. Brown had done 
his a few years before, in plaster; but unlike Brown he did it all 
with his own hands, a task which occupied him over three years 
( 1 860-1 864). One admires the courage and the perseverance of the 
man, but regrets that an artist capable of producing- such monuments 
should have spent so much time in passing that immense bulk 
through a " two-quart bowl," which process, as he says, gave him 
abundant time for meditation. With modern methods and proper 
assistance the work could have been done quite as thoughtfully and 
more perfectly in one-third of the time, while not only Mr. Ball but the 
world would have been the gainers by those two other years. How- 
ever, the task was finally accomplished, and the result was a work as 
important in the historic annals of the country as it is in the topog- 
raphy of Boston, where it has been a landmark for over thirty years. 
The monument has been treated with uniform respect by the 
critics, though Jarves, who was not always able to recognize merit, 
announced that it was purely "realistic." This is just what to the 
modern eye it is not, though the horse was so much more true to 
nature than we find him in the usual pictorial representations of the 
time that Mr. Jarves's anxiety is readily understood. It may be 
acknowledged that the attitude of the general is not so impressive 
as that which H. K. Brown rave him. It is dignified, but has more 
the air of the everyday man, the leader looking around him sharply 
as he rides. In general effect, however, of monumental distinction, 
as well as conscientious workmanship, Mr. Ball's achievement ranks 
among the finest equestrian statues of this country, and this in spite 
of the sculptor's handicap of inexperience and the use of a most 
ungrateful medium which quite prohibited charm of plastic handling. 
To appreciate fully the degree of Mr. Ball's success one needs but to 
contrast his version of the great commander with those by Clark 
Mills and Thomas Crawford. 

1 Among these were statuettes of Clay and Edwin Forrest and busts of Dr. Ephraim 
Peabody in King's Chapel. President Lord of Dartmouth, Rufus Choate. William H. Pres- 
cott, and Henry Ward Beecher. 



PALMER AND BALL 1 45 

There were no funds at the moment for casting the " Washington," 
so it was carefully cut into pieces by the prospective founder, and 
the fragments laid away for safe-keeping until a more convenient 
season. This proved to be several years later, the monument being 
finally unveiled on July 3, 1S69. Meanwhile the sculptor returned to 
Florence laden with various models and commissions, among which 
the most important was for a marble statue of Edwin Forrest as 
" Coriolanus," for which he had made preliminary studies in 
Philadelphia. Before beginning this important work, however, 
Mr. Ball was moved to execute a half life-size model of Lincoln and 
a kneeling slave, a work which was destined to meet with great 
success when executed later in heroic size. 

The "Coriolanus" was ready for the marble in 1867, and is 
now in the Actors' Home near Philadelphia. It has been highly 
praised. Nothing could be more unique in the way of art criti- 
cism than the following paragraph gravely quoted by Clement 
and Hutton from Alger's "Life of Forrest": — 

" The name of Thomas Ball has acquired celebrity in art since 
that day, but the statue of Forrest in the character of ' Coriolanus ' 
will always stand as a proud landmark in his sculptured path of 
fame. It was a true work of love not less than of ambition. . . . 
Forrest was indeed fortunate in the peaceful and time-enduring 
victory achieved for him by the artist in the sculptured ' Coriolanus,' 
whose haughty beauty and right foot, insupportably advanced with 
the planted weight of all imperious Rome, will speak his quality to 
generations yet unborn." 

This was succeeded by a beautiful " Eve stepping into Life," 
which Mr. Ball considers his most ambitious work ; by a very popu- 
lar little head called " La Petite Pensee," and by a fine bust of the 
musician Liszt. A flying trip to Boston resulted in an order for a 
marble statue of Governor John A. Andrew, which was followed by 
a group for the Chickering monument in Mount Auburn Cemetery, 
representing the " Angel of Death lifting a Veil from the Eyes of 
Faith." Figures more suggestive of the Florentine environment 
were " Christmas," " Saint Valentine's Morning," and " Love's 
Memories"; but in spite of their "catchy" titles these are charming 
works of serious worth, and not mere displays of Italian handicraft. 



146 



HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



Hiram Powers considered Mr. Ball's next figure, the " Saint John 
the Evangelist," his most perfect work. Although the subject has 
been represented in every church of Europe, one feels that in the 
rapt earnestness of this face and figure the American has added 
another thought and given his theme a new exaltation. There is 
an integrity and a genuine purity in the listening figure which one 
often reads into ecclesiastical sculpture only to find later naught 
but tantalizing disappointment ; here we find soul as well as skilful 

workmanship and the 
conventional attributes 
of holiness. The fig- 
ure was made for a 
gentleman of Boston, 
and is in Forest Hills 
Cemetery. 

An order from the 
Freedman's Memorial 
Association had the 
effect of expanding the 
little Lincoln model 
into the well-known 
" Emancipation" group 
of Washington, which 
was inaugurated in 
1S75 (Fig. 19). A 
replica was subse- 
quently ordered for 
Boston (1877), where 
it is rather unfortu- 
nately placed in a 
crowded intersection of streets. Hence it has been more criticised 
there than at Washington. The modern connoisseur feels perhaps 
too strongly the inflexible surfaces of those early works. He is 
over-conscious of their smoothness and shine, their lack of pleasing 
accents. But the eye which sees in them only monotony of texture 
misses their chief value and shows itself lacking in a grasp of essen- 
tials. Mr. Ball's conception of Lincoln is a lofty one, which he has 




Fig. 19. — Ball: Emancipation Group, Washington. 



PALMER AND BALL 147 

conveyed in a language intelligible to all and in terms as well of 
sculptural significance. The Lincoln monument is one of the inspired 
works of American sculpture : a great theme expressed with emotion 
by an artist of intelligence and sympathy, who felt what he was doing. 
It is a pity to lose sight of its nobility and power and of its simple 
structural beauty, merely because its surface lacks vivacity of technic. 
We are not wrong in prizing this quality, but there are things in art, 
as in life, which are more important than charm of surface. These, 
the fundamentals, may be found in this admirable group. 

The next order was for the " Daniel Webster " of Central Park, 
New York, which was enlarged from the little statuette of twenty- 
one years before. This gigantic and imposing figure (fourteen feet 
in height) was cast in Munich and unveiled in 1876. In that year 
the sculptor and his family visited the Centennial Exposition, and 
returned to Florence with an order for a " Charles Sumner " for 
Boston. This was no sooner completed than a commission followed 
for a statue of Josiah Ouincy. These figures are excellent works of 
their kind. The " Sumner " (in the Public Gardens) has a noble 
head, to the beauty of which the waving locks contribute not a little. 
The movement is spirited : that of an orator who makes a sweeping 
downward gesture with the right hand, while the left holds his manu- 
script to his breast with an abrupt bend of the elbow. The figure 
stands well on its feet, like all of this sculptor's men, and the draw- 
ing is everywhere adequate. 

Mr. Ball's " Josiah Ouincy " was erected in 1878 in the City 
Hall square of Boston as a pendant to the " Franklin," by Richard 
Greenough, and unlike the latter work is a distinctly sculptural 
conception. It would be untrue as well as unfair to later men of 
superior skill to call it a great statue, since the execution is sum- 
mary. As with the " Lincoln " and others, its modelling is scarcely 
more refined than that of the better " staff " work of our expositions, 
and makes no display of technical dexterity. On the other hand, it 
shows a dignity of mass and a grace of line which many a sculptor 
of our day has sought in vain and of which many another has no 
conception. This figure has the qualities which lie at the founda- 
tion of great monumental art. Aside from the slightly alarmed air 
of the face, the general effect could hardly be improved upon. 



148 HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Doubtless the big mantle has little significance to us, but it was 
actually worn once. The sculptor knew its value in his work and 
has disposed it, like the arms and hands, with great success. Indeed, 
our country offers but few better conceived portrait statues than this 
figure of Josiah Quincy. It possesses that indefinable aloofness and 
distinction in which modern realism often falls short, to its im- 
measurable loss. In a way, the very crudity of Mr. Ball's execution, 
the summary handling of details, serves the same purpose as the 
highly perfected simplification of our best sculptures of to-day. 

Another " Webster " for Concord, New Hampshire, a " David " in 
marble, and a statue of P. T. Barnum were the principal creations 
of the next few years. The last named received a first-class medal 
in the International Exposition in Munich in 1S88. Mr. Ball's 
seventieth birthday was spent in this country, and a few weeks later 
he received the most important order of his life, a commission for 
the Washington monument which now decorates the town of 
Methuen, Massachusetts. This monument had been designed 
many years previously for a competition in Philadelphia. It is 
pyramidal in form, a monolith rising from a square base of white 
Carrara marble. On the lower member are seated four figures in 
bronze: " Cincinnatus," typical of the return of peace and the laying 
aside of military arms ; " Victory " in the shape of a beautiful woman 
holding a wreath, and leaning forward in an expectant attitude ; 
" Revolution," a man of determined mien, powerful and dignified of 
figure and face alike ; and " Oppression," a female figure, heavily 
chained, with drooping head and stricken aspect. In niches 
above are colossal portrait busts of Washington's four distinguished 
generals, — Lafayette, Greene, Knox, and Lincoln. Above all, crown- 
ing the work with simplicity and dignity, stands the massive figure 
of Washington garbed in the familiar Continental uniform and par- 
tially enveloped in a great cloak, which is caught about the neck and 
falls in ample folds. The right foot is somewhat advanced, and the 
left hand outstretched, as in benediction, gives a solemnity to the 
pose that is impressive. 

This considerable work, undertaken by Mr. Ball at the age of 
threescore and ten and successfully carried through, cost him 
several years of unremitting labor. How well it was done may be 



PALMER AND BALL 



149 



inferred from the dignity of the principal figure, which was seen at 
the Columbian Exposition of 1893 — the gigantic Washington in 
bronze which stood in the rotunda of the Art Palace. Its majesty 
impressed all who entered. In conception, in expression, in pose, 
line, and accessories ; in light and shade and, this time, even in 
surface handling, the figure is nobly monumental. At seventy the 
sculptor was at his prime. It is needless to say that the figure 
received the highest honors of the Exposition. 

A few worthy works in sculpture had made their appearance in 
this country before Thomas Ball began to produce, but he set a new 
standard in public statuary, and the influence of such high ideals and 
such sincere craftsmanship as his can scarcely be overestimated. 
Through his own creations and those of his pupils, Milmore and 
Daniel C. French, he has largely shaped the monumental art of 
New England. Mr. French once said of him, " I respect his work 
and I love the man." Such is the tribute paid by all who know this 
grand old sculptor and his contributions to American art. 



CHAPTER VIII 

STORY AND RANDOLPH ROGERS 

With the consideration of William Wetmore Story the course of 
American sculpture leads us again to Rome, where Mr. Story passed 
an unbroken residence of many years, remaining throughout that 
period a striking figure in the social and artistic life of the city. His 
eminence as a scholar and litterateur gave to his sculpture a some- 
what exaggerated reputation, which the succeeding years have not 
entirely sustained. His mind, like his hand, was nimble and inde- 
fatigable ; his life well rounded and fruitful. It may be confidently 
said that no American sculptor of his time did so much to give social 
standing to his profession. 

Mr. Story was born in Salem, Massachusetts, Feb. 12, 18 19. He 
graduated at Harvard College in 1844, and afterward studied law, which 
he never practised, though he published at least two treatises consid- 
ered valuable in that profession. He published, also, in 1847, a volume 
of poems, a life of his father, Chief Justice Story, in 185 1, and a 
second volume of poems in 1856. Adopting sculpture as a profession, 
he went, in 185 1, to Rome, and opened a studio, one of his earliest 
works being a statue of his father, now at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 
in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His "Cleopatra" and his "Sibyl" 
were displayed at the London exhibition of 1S62. The former, or 
rather a replica dated 1869, is now in the Metropolitan Museum of 
New York, where are also his " Semiramis," " Salome," " Medea," 
and " Polyxena." Among his other works are " Saul," " Sappho," 
" Delilah," " Moses," " Judith," " Infant Bacchus," " Little Red 
Riding-Hood," and "Jerusalem in her Desolation." He was the 
author of the statues of George Peabody in London and Baltimore ; 
of Edward Everett in the Public Gardens at Boston ; of William 
Prescott at Bunker Hill ; of Chief Justice Marshall and Professor 

15° 




PLATE VI. 
STORY: CLEOPATRA, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM, NEW YORK. 






rion of 
sculpture leads us again to I 

i side nee of ma 
ikins 



the social and artistic 






ur gave 'me- 

as-o-erated reputati 'lie succeeding years have not 

id inde- 
ed and fruitfu lently 
eric; sculf His time 
ion. 

Mr. 

ind afterward studied law, which 

,o-h he ' ast two treatises coi 

lame 

in 1851, and a 

ing sculp a profession, 

studio, bis earliest 



t 

London 






M- 
■^ M ,A.qTA^03J0 



Red 

the 

ore ; 

iiam 

Professor 



: YflOTE 



STORY AND RANDOLPH ROGERS 151 

Henry (Fig. 20) in Washington ; and of Francis S. Key in San 
Francisco. Reference is found also to a portrait of Josiah Quincy, 
and to an equestrian statue of Colonel Shaw, for Boston. He died 
in Vallombrosa, Italy, Oct. 7, 1895. 

Mr. Story must have been a very delightful man to know ; he 
seems to have made a specialty of being delightful. To read his 
"Conversations in a Studio" (Boston, 1890), one might suspect that 
so much brilliancy and erudition would cloy in the end, but it was 
probably diluted for daily use, else this was the most extraordinary 
studio that the world has ever seen. Donatello and Michael Angelo 
certainly never listened to such accretions and aggravations of scho- 
lastic lore. No one knew Mr. Story more intimately than did 
his friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the testimony of America's 
most winsome writer is valuable. We may trust the intuitions of 
his heart every time, even though his judgment in matters artistic is 
rather uncertain, as he himself frankly acknowledges. 

In his journal of Feb. 14, 1S58, Hawthorne writes: "William 
Story looks quite as vivid, in a graver way, as when I saw him last, a 
very young man. His perplexing variety of talents and accomplish- 
ments — he being a poet, a prose writer, a lawyer, a painter, a musi- 
cian, and a sculptor — seems now to be concentrating itself into this 
latter vocation, and I cannot see why he should not achieve some- 
thing very good. He has a beautiful statue, already finished, of 
Goethe's Margaret pulling a flower to pieces to discover whether Faust 
loves her ; a very type of virginity and simplicity. The statue of 
Cleopatra, now only fourteen days advanced in the clay, is as wide a 
step from the little maidenly Margaret as any artist could take ; it is 
a grand subject, and he is conceiving it with depth and power, and 
working it out with adequate skill. He certainly is sensible of some- 
thing deeper in his art than merely to make beautiful nudities and 
baptize them by classic names." x 

Elsewhere he records the charm of a summer day spent with his 
friend in Siena, "turning over books or talking,'"- and continues: 
" Mr. Story is the most variously accomplished and brilliant person, the 
fullest of social life and fire, whom I ever met; and without seeming 
to make an effort, he kept us amused and entertained the whole day 

1 •• Italian Note-Book," Vol. I, p. 69. - Ibid.. Vol. II. p. 173. 



i5 2 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



long ; not wearisomely entertained, neither, as we should have 
been if we had not let his fountain play naturally. Still, though 
he bubbled and brimmed over with fun, he left the impression 
on me that . . . there is a pain and care, bred, it may be, out of 
the very richness of his gifts and abundance of his outward 

prosperity. Rich, in the prime of 
life, . . . and children budding and 
blossoming around him as fairly as 
his heart could wish, with sparkling 
talents, — so many, that if he choose 
to neglect or fling away one, or two, 
or three, he would still have enough 
left to shine with, — who should be 
happy if not he ? " 

But when it comes to a calm 
judgment on the sculpture of this 
brilliant man, it will be best to take 
the enthusiastic verdict of his friend 
with some grains of .salt. Of that 
early portrait of Judge Story, Haw- 
thorne wrote, " The statue of his 
father, his first work, is very noble, as 
noble and fine a portrait statue as I 
ever saw." 1 Tuckerman observes more 
temperately: "The likeness is mani- 

Fig. 20. — Story: Professor Henry, festly true, and there is grace but 
Washington. . . . . . . , 

little vigor in the work ; it, however, 
was justly regarded as a successful first attempt." 2 It is a dull 
figure, in spite of Hawthorne ; the first of a long array of seated 
men and women by Mr. Story, whose taste — or prudence — found 
slight expression in standing effigies. Judge Story is shown in 
his judicial robes, holding a book, and lifting his hand to attract 
attention. The expression is weak, the gesture obtrusive, and the 
modelling lamentablv absent. 

The one work with which the fame of Story is permanently 
linked, the only one which his name recalls to most memories, is his 

1 •■ Italian Note-Book."" Vol. I. p. 70. - " Book of the Artists," p. 576. 




STORY AND RANDOLPH ROGERS 153 

" Cleopatra." It is a little uncertain whether it was Story or 
Hawthorne who made " Cleopatra." At any rate it was the 
novelist who gave to the statue its reputation in England and 
America. " It is the most famous," says Clark, " not because its 
extraordinary merits have forced a recognition from the multitude, 
but because it had the good fortune to fascinate a man of rare 
genius, who in a sense appropriated it for his own by embodying a 
eulogistic description of it in one of his best known and most 
widely read books." 1 

It may be added that Hawthorne's " Cleopatra " was quite an- 
other than Story's. We of to-day look with amazement upon this 
cold, much-chiselled figure to find the regal beauty described in the 
"Marble Faun": "In a word, all Cleopatra — fierce, voluptu- 
ous, passionate, tender, wicked, terrible, and full of poisonous and 
rapturous enchantment — was kneaded into what, only a week or 
two before, had been a lump of wet clay from the Tiber. Soon 
apotheosized in an indestructible material, she would be one of the 
images that men keep forever, finding a heat in them that does not 
cool down through the centuries." Hawthorne had watched the 
growth of the figure almost from the "lump of wet clay." It was 
the wonder of this development which had fired his imagination 
until it far outran what his eyes beheld. Into the work he read 
a vast deal more than ever the sculptor was to realize, and under 
the magic of his words we think that we see, likewise, " all Cleo- 
patra " in this essentially mediocre figure-. By the time, however, 
we have walked around the marble, we need to read the description 
over again for new enthusiasm. 

There is one view of " Cleopatra " which must have given its 
conscientious author great satisfaction — the one shown in our illus- 
tration (PL VI). Unpleasant in line and inadequate from other 
directions, here the composition becomes much more graceful, and we 
are able to discern somewhat of the majestic vision that the sculptor 
has tried so hard to express. But reverse the page ; turn for a 
moment the picture upside down, and the aridity of treatment, the 
leanness of the drapery, become at once apparent. Reduce the 
" Fates " of the Parthenon to a mere decorative design by the same 

1 " Great American Sculptures," p. 88. 



154 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

simple method and the difference will, as the French say, " jump at 
your eyes." It is a good lesson in the technical side of the art. But 
with all his artistic shortcomings, the sculptor had a right to claim 
for himself whatever his loyal friend found in his work — and 
reason to be thankful for so appreciative a critic. The " Cleopatra " 
is undoubtedly impressive when one is in the proper mood, and it 
cannot be denied that it is a work of some distinction. Into this 
figure Mr. Story put his best thought and his greatest energy. 
Many of his later productions were but feeble and exaggerated 
variants of this theme. 

The " Libyan Sibyl," which as before noted was first seen in 
London in 1862, is intrinsically a more sculptural and a more im- 
pressive work. Mr. Clark's description is enthusiastic and vivid : 
" This weird woman of mystery, the child of the desert, it is true is 
not a ' serpent of old Nile,' but there is about her much of that 
pent-up fiery energy, threatening to burst forth at any moment to 
scorch and consume, which marks the ' Cleopatra.' The mission 
of the ' Sibyl,' however, is not to lure men on to destruction — she 
is the custodian of secrets, the secrets of Africa and the African 
race. And how close she keeps them, with her locked lower 
limbs, her one hand pressing her chin as if to keep in the torrent 
of words that threatens to burst forth, while the other grasps a 
scroll covered with strange characters, which would reveal much 
could we be permitted to decipher it. On her head is the Am- 
monite horn, — for she is a daughter of Jupiter Amnion, and the 
keeper of his oracles, — and on her breast is the ancient symbol 
of mystery, as she sits there brooding and thinking, and her breast 
heaving with emotions as she thinks of what is past and what is to 
come." l 

These two figures had great success in London, where, indeed, as 
Jarves states, they " placed Mr. Story, in European estimation, at 
the head of American sculptors." 2 He continues : " Profiting by 
the knowledge of the old masters, and forming his tastes upon the 
best styles, Story has had the independence to seek out an unused 
field. In this he confers honor on our school, and gives it an 

1 " Great American Sculptures, - ' p. 92. 
2 Jarves, -Art Idea," p. 281. 



STORY AND RANDOLPH ROGERS 155 

impetus as new as it is refreshing." ' Was there ever a refreshing 
impetus so sterile of results ? Not only did Story have no followers, 
but he declined appreciably from year to year, falling away from 
his own standard, though haunted, to the point of obsession, by 
visions of mournful female figures, generally seated and wrapped 
in gloom. It seems strange that so active a mind should dream 
of nothing but brooding, sinister souls, of bodies bowed in grief 
or tense with rage. Never once, apparently, did there come to him 
a vision of buoyancy and grace, of a beauty that one could love, 
of good cheer and joy of very living — always those unwholesome, 
pouting creatures with their " heavily revolving thoughts," born of 
that belated Byronic romanticism in which Hawthorne himself was 
by no means without a share. 

It was " Jerusalem in her Desolation " which came next. The 
complaisant Art Journal of August, 1873, welcomed it to London 
that year with the following eulogy : " A noble female figure, clad 
in flowing drapery ; the head, crowned with a kind of phylactery, is 
finely modelled, the Hebrew face having an expression of mingled 
distress and contempt. . . . The general expression of the design 
is that of majestic sorrow, and the execution of the work throughout 
is most careful." Clark, though treating Mr. Story with the utmost 
consideration, acknowledged in 1879 that the statue was "certainly 
not a pleasing one." Proceeding, he says, " There is a stiffness 
and total lack of grace in the lines of the figure for which there 
is no reason and no excuse." Those who have seen " Jerusalem " 
in the Pennsylvania Academy will consider this a very gentle criti- 
cism. Nothing more amateurish than this figure could well be 
admitted to a public gallery. Head and body alike are strangely 

1 Later Mr. Jarves was compelled to form a different estimate of Story's talent. In his 
"Art Thoughts " he says (p. 311) : — 

'■ For a brief moment it really appeared as if in Story we had, at last, something that 
savored of genius. But a closer examination of his numerous efforts dispels this illusion. 
Industrious he assuredly is, possessing fancy and some skill of invention ; but his strong point 
is his receptive faculty, which gets good from others, and strains it through his own mind. 
His antiquarian knowledge serves him well in the decorative part of his sculpture. Ornaments 
and accessories are rightly chosen and tastefully placed, though the choice of motives appears 
somewhat sensational. • Cleopatra poisoning Herself," ' Judith having slain Holofernes,' 
' Medea intending the Murder of her Children, 1 ' Delilah after betraying Samson, 1 ' Saul Mad,' 
and ; Sappho meditating Suicide ' are hazardous topics even for genius." 



156 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

deficient in construction. The arms are big but not good, and the 
unfortunate creature seems not to know what to do with them. 
How the sculptor of the " Cleopatra " could have shaped the 
" Jerusalem " so inadequately, is one of the mysteries of the Roman 
studio. 

One may condone certain defects of the "Cleopatra" by laying 
some share of the responsibility upon the over-zealous carver; but 
we shall not be able to plead extenuating circumstances in regard 
to the " Semiramis, Queen of Assyria," in the Metropolitan Museum, 
a work also bearing date of 1873. To be sure, the carving is no 
less unpleasant than in the other examples, but in this case it has 
spoiled nothing excepting the beautiful stone. The figure shows 
no trace of sculptural inspiration. It has neither grace nor power — 
scarcely, indeed, a definite pose ; but it makes up for these minor 
deficiencies through a surplusage of facial expression. The novel 
structure of its physiognomy is contorted by its burden of emotional 
display; it is fairly overlaid with it. The eyes are exaggerated, 
the eyebrows enormous. The hair is harshly conventionalized, 
and is held on the head by means of a heavy crown of clumsy 
workmanship. The drapery is Story's own, a sort of thin morn- 
ing wrapper, as monotonous in its folds as the slats of a Venetian 
blind. 

" Salome " is Cleopatra with arms reversed and, for variety, the 
legs crossed. An apology for a head seems to have been extempo- 
rized without effort, the regular-ribbed drapery was elaborated, and 
the thing was done. Then the trusty marble-cutter was called in 
and another block of snowy Carrara was doomed to take on for all 
time the graceless stamp of ostentatious nullity. Story's " Salome " 
is the uninspired product of a keen intelligence operating in a wrong 
direction. 

The " Medea " was done with more conscience and more skill, 
and was greatly admired at the Centennial Exposition. The brood- 
ing brow, the sinister mouth, the conspicuous dagger — all of this 
very legible language of tragedy made powerful appeal to unculti- 
vated tastes not yet prepared for subtleties and perplexities of 
expression. The woman seemed beautiful, and looked cross, and 
carried a dagger; the meaning was as obvious as in cheap melo- 



STORY AND RANDOLPH ROGERS 157 

drama. Medea's arms are awkwardly disposed and are inadequately 
modelled, but the figure presents a sculptural compactness, and the 
head is better constructed than was usual with Story. The carving 
likewise is far superior to that of the " Semiramis," for instance. The 
outer garment is simply and gracefully arranged, with an agreeable 
little design running around its border in dainty relief. The figure 
is one of Mr. Story's earlier works and is undoubtedly one of his 
best. His rating would be much higher if only this and the " Cleo- 
patra " and " Sibyl " remained, along with his dignified portrait of 
George Peabody. 

For of Mr. Story's portrait figures that of the great philan- 
thropist is unquestionably the best. The original in London is, if 
memory does not err, in marble. The replica before the Peabody 
Institute in Baltimore is in bronze. It is not a work of great 
distinction, artistically speaking, — not comparing in this respect 
with its neighbor (in Baltimore) Rinehart's " Judge Taney," — but 
it shows a man of good figure and fine head sitting quietly and at 
ease in a large chair. The whole effect is of calm and sedateness, a 
comfortable impression for any statue to give. One can easily read 
a look of benevolence into its features, but we must not search its 
eyes for the gleam of a soul within, as we may the portraits by 
great artists. Neither shall we find here the playful handling of a 
plastic surface over firmly moulded masses — that charm of technic 
which the Paris-trained generation has taught us to admire and to 
demand. The " Peabody " is an arrested development, a statue well 
conceived and well begun ; it is a pity that it was not carried 
further. 

As much cannot be said of the oratorical " Edward Everett " of 
Boston. The uplifted right arm is not well adjusted to the shoulder, 
and would in any case become a weariness to the flesh, or at least to 
the sympathetic spirit. The pose is unfortunate, because untrue in 
effect, if for no other reason. No orator ever holds his hand above 
his head continuously. He makes a sweeping gesture now and 
then, and the power is in the movement. The rigid arm suggests 
a fakir of India and not an impassioned speaker. In going to the 
extreme of action, the artist has thwarted his own purpose and 
achieved paralysis. 



158 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Whatever may be said of Mr. Story's sculptural ideals and of his 
proficiency in his art, he was ever the cultured man of the world, 
and could not express himself otherwise. On all of his portraits of 
men one finds his sign-manual of dignity and — excepting the 
" Everett " and " Prescott " — of repose. His heroines are strangely 
unsympathetic, but his men have the air of gentlemen. The " Chief 
Justice Marshall" (1S84), who sits well down in a graceful semi- 
classic chair upon one of the approaches to the national Capitol, is 
weak in pose, but still remains impressive. The head is intellectual 
and benevolent. The gesture of the extended hand is ample and 
forceful, while the other arm and hand are well placed on the arm of 
the chair. The drapery, likewise, is gracefully arranged ; and were 
it not for its unfailing sharpness of treatment, this expensive work 
(costing $40,000) might be considered very good. 

"Professor Henry" (also dated 1884), at the entrance of the 
Smithsonian Institute, has the same dignified serenity. Psycho- 
logically, the figure is well conceived. The face and hands have 
life. One is conscious of standing before a real and fine man, yet 
one has a curious feeling that this man is clad in a suit of corrugated 
iron. The scholarly gown does not differ much from the judicial 
robe ; and as the figure is erect, the sculptor has been tempted 
beyond his strength. An endless repetition of parallel grooves and 
ridges makes of this surface as painful a display as an ingenious 
amateur could well devise. There is nothing like it in this country. 
Its only approach is in Mr. Story's other works, but in the " Pro- 
fessor Henry " he has been most true to his instincts. One feels 
his delight in every inexorable line. No ploughboy could have 
taken greater pride in the straightness of his furrows. 

This satisfaction and confidence are apparent in all that Mr. 
Story did, and are enough to convince one of his " call." In spite 
of his obvious deficiencies as an artist, there is no question of the 
value of his labors in the historical sequence. In England his 
reputation was second only to that of Powers, whom he followed 
as the representative American sculptor. His personal worth and 
his address gave him the regard of the cultivated, enhancing in 
their minds the importance of his profession, while his sculpture 
was no less attractive to the general public. It must not be for- 



STORY AND RANDOLPH ROGERS 



159 



gotten that " art for art's sake " touches only the few, while the 
"anecdote" appeals to the many. With all his brilliancy of intel- 
lect, Mr. Story talked in his sculpture a very childlike language, 
exactly suited to the artistic development of his days. The classic 
titles and costumes of his subjects were impressive, and their 
frowning brows and pouting lips were intelligible to the simplest. 
Story's art came at the 
right time, and had its 
very powerful influence 
in interesting a large 
public. 

Another sculptor who 
enjoyed great popularity 
in his day was Randolph 
Rogers, who was born 
at Waterloo, Seneca 
County, New York, in 
1S25. His youth was 
spent at Ann Arbor, 
Michigan, where, in spite 
of the usual artistic 
" symptoms," he engaged 
in business until the age 
of twenty-three. At this 
time he made an im- 
promptu exhibition of 
his works, consisting of 
several figures and a bust 
of Byron. The promise of these things, coupled with the fact that 
the young artist had never had a lesson, nor even an opportu- 
nity to see sculpture clone, led his generous employers to provide 
him with means to study in Rome. This was in 1848, and he went 
at once, spending two years under the instruction of Bartolini. 
Returning to America, he remained five years in New York, where 
the products of his short stay abroad attracted much attention and 
brought him many commissions. After his marriage Mr. Rogers 
removed, in 1855, to Rome and fixed his residence there. His 




Fig. 21. — Rogers: Lost Pleiad. 



160 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

later years were fully occupied by numerous monumental works of 
importance, but his most interesting productions are doubtless the 
harvest of this earlier period, when imagination and enthusiasm 
held sway. Best known of these are " Nydia " and the " Lost 
Pleiad" (Fig. 21); "Ruth" and "Isaac" followed, and a "Boy 
Skating" and "A Boy and a Dog." His marble statue of Presi- 
dent John Adams was placed in Mount Auburn Cemetery in 1857. 
In 1858 he received the commission for the bronze doors of the 
Capitol. In 1861 he finished his share of the work on Crawford's 
Washington monument at Richmond, and in 1862 made his 
" Angel of the Resurrection " for the Colt monument at Hartford, 
Connecticut. 

Notable among the larger works of Mr. Rogers are the military 
memorials erected at Providence in 1S71 and at Detroit in 1873, 
with others, less elaborate in design, at Cincinnati and Worcester, 
Massachusetts ; a bronze statue of President Lincoln, unveiled in 
Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, in 1871 ; one of W. H. Seward, 
placed at the junction of Broadway and Fifth Avenue, New York, 
in 1876; the "Genius of Connecticut," on the Capitol at Hartford 
(1877); and a bronze group of Indians (1S81). 

Rogers's "Nydia" (Fig. 22) is so well known as scarcely to 
require description. The figure of the blind girl is shown bent 
forward in the attitude of one who pauses for a moment in flight ; 
her right hand grasps her staff; the 'left is lifted to her ear, while she 
listens before continuing her course through that darkness which is 
her accustomed day. The figure is graceful and intelligible, though 
to the sculptor or to the sensitive critic the flying drapery seems very 
mechanical with its parallel ribs and grooves, and the fingers and 
toes are monotonously rounded without characterization. A writer 
who was fortunately oblivious to these defects has analyzed the 
charm of the work with much appreciation : " The crouching atti- 
tude and the tempest-blown garments which entangle themselves in 
the blind girl's staff are thoroughly expressive of a hurried forward 
movement, or rather, of a slight pause in such a movement for the 
purpose of listening for some hoped-for voice to pierce the darkness 
and tumult. The girl's face has an expression of intense listening 
upon it, and the artist has increased the suggestiveness of both face 



STORY AND RANDOLPH ROGERS l6l 

and figure in this respect by the action which he has given to the 
left hand and arm — the arm crossing the body, and the back of the 
hand making a shield behind the ear to gather the sound. This 
movement of the hand and arm is so obvious that on looking at the 
statue it is difficult to think that the artist could have chosen any 
other to express his idea; and yet it is in just such niceties as this 
that the superior excellence of many of the finest works of art con- 
sists." l 

The " Lost Pleiad " (Fig. 21) is a graceful conception of not very 
robust individuality, but admirably suited to the demands of its 
time. When a work is so pure and innocent, when it has such 
vogue as had this figure, with its sister, the beloved " Nydia," it is 
evident that there is a reason for its existence. It " fills a long-felt 
want," or even creates a new one, which is still more important 
in the progress of art. It is said that no fewer than one hundred 
replicas of the " Nydia " were made in marble during the author's 
lifetime, and possibly as many more of the " Lost Pleiad " — that 
sweet, wayworn traveller of the heavens. It is safe to say that 
they gave a vast deal of pleasure in their day, and still retain for 
many not a little of their pathetic charm. They may not appeal to 
you and to me like the " Nike," the " Venus of Milo," or the " Fates." 
They may seem too reminiscent of the thought of other men to 
thrill us ; we scan them in vain for token of originality and power ; 
but so long as our most costly homes are adorned with modern 
Italian carvings of laces and feathers, of silk ruffles and bathing 
suits, there remains a use, an educational mission even, for an art as 
pure and ingenuous as that of Randolph Rogers. The youthful 
ideals of this pioneer were both sculpturally and poetically as far 
above these current abominations as are the Shaw Memorial and 
the " Angel of Death " above any dream that ever came to him. 
He did his best. To-day we know the best and too often choose 
the worst. 

Mr. Rogers's only representation in the Metropolitan Museum is 
a kneeling " Ruth " in marble, a graceful little figure, and in some 
respects the most pleasing of all his works. We are assured on 
excellent authority' 2 that " Ruth " was Mr. Rogers's first ideal figure, 

1 "Great American Sculptures," p. 78. - Professor Martin L. D'Ooge. 



1 62 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

but Clark calls it a later production. He describes it prettily : " The 
heroine of the lovely Hebrew idyl is represented as resting one knee 
on the ground as she gathers the gleanings in the field of Boaz. In 
her lap are her gatherings, while her right hand is filled with such 
of the ripened grain as she has just culled from the ground. The 
head is turned, as if she had glanced up a moment from her task to 
gaze at the figure of Boaz in the distance, and there is a peculiar 
expression imparted by her eager eyes and her half-opened mouth 
as if she was hesitating between hope and fear." 1 The face is sensi- 
tive and pure, and the drapery less mannered than in the examples 
already cited. The wheat — and the other vegetation as well — is 
appropriately sparse, the plants having the usual emphatic treat- 
ment with vastly tiresome details. This figure, with the " Nydia," 
formed Mr. Rogers's exhibit at the Centennial Exposition of 1876. 

Casts of all of these figures, as well as of many of the sculptor's 
later and larger works, may be seen in the art gallery of the Univer- 
sity of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. The life-work of any man thus 
gathered together and reverently preserved is bound to be impres- 
sive, and though ideals and particularly methods have changed since 
these figures were modelled, there is much in the group to awaken 
our esteem for this earnest and indefatigable sculptor of half a cen- 
tury ago. From the catalogue of this collection we may be permitted 
to quote Professor Martin L. D'Ooge's very accurate description of 
the Rogers bronze doors of the rotunda of the Capitol at Washing- 
ton : — 

" The doors are set in a deep frame which is arched at the top. 
The faces of the frame are ornamented with an egg-and-dart and 
astragal moulding, setting off a shallow and narrow panel in which 
is placed a low relief which represents a series of groups of weapons, 
flowers, fruits, and implements more or less conventionalized, and 
broken at the apex of the arch by a round panel in which is placed a 
bust of Columbus. The inside jambs have as decoration a raised 
moulding resembling a cord or band plaited and crossed. The 
doors are surmounted by a sculptured lunette, at the top of which is 
an eagle perched upon the folds of two national flags. The lunette 
contains the largest of the reliefs, which represents the scene of the 

1 '• Great American Sculptures," p. 75. 



STORY AND RANDOLPH ROGERS 163 

landing of Columbus and of the raising of the Spanish flag upon the 
soil of the newly discovered world. 

" This scene is the culminating point of the life of the explorer, 
whose story is depicted in the series of eight panels that form the 
body of the doors. This series begins with the lowest panel at the 
left hand of the spectator. In the order of the series the scenes are 
as follows : — 

" 1. Columbus presents the plan of his proposed expedition 
before a company of learned monks, in the monastery of Saint 
Stephen at Salamanca. 

" 2. Columbus receives the hospitality of the Convent of Saint 
Maria de La Rabida, near Palos, and enlists in his cause the Prior 
Perez, the former confessor of Queen Isabella. 

" 3. Columbus receives his commission as admiral from the 
hands of Ferdinand and Isabella at Granada. 

" 4. The departure of the fleet from Palos for the first voyage. 
(Then follows the scene in the lunette described above.) 

" 5. Voyages among the islands of the New World and capture 
of the natives. 

" 6. Triumphant return of Columbus and honors at Barcelona. 

" 7. Arrival of Columbus in chains at Cadiz after the third voy- 
age, and in consequence of malicious reports sent to the court by 
his enemies. 

"8. The death of Columbus at Valladolid. 

" The grace and dramatic power exhibited in these reliefs, the 
skill with which technical difficulties have been overcome, the clear- 
ness and compactness of each scene, are qualities that cannot fail to 
arouse admiration. Worthy of especial notice is also the wonder- 
ful variety of ornamentations illustrative of the history of the dis- 
covery of the New World, that is used with lavish hand upon the 
rails that separate the panels. The stiles on each side of the panels 
are divided by small niches, in which are placed statuettes of sym- 
bolic figures and real personages connected with the history of the 
period. Europe, Asia, Africa, and America are represented by 
figures intended to typify the character of their respective civiliza- 
tions. Among the persons represented may be named Ferdinand 
and Isabella, Cortez and Vespucci, John II of Portugal and Henry VI 



1 64 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

of England, Pope Alexander VII and Cardinal Mendoza. The 
heads of distinguished statesmen, divines, and scholars peer forth 
from behind the mouldings of the panels, as if eager spectators of 
the great event that is set forth by these pictures in sculpture." 

As a rule it is seldom worth while to find fault with artists for 
what they have missed ; we thank them gratefully or turn away with 
indifference, according as they have satisfied us or failed to appeal to 
our taste, and " no harm done " ; but it is impossible to leave this 
important work without criticism. As has been said in the discus- 
sion of the Crawford doors, neither of these men had much instinct 
for the decorative treatment of sculpture. Their reliefs are made 
more or less interesting by their elaboration and portraiture, but 
they remain mere story -telling pictures without charm of composi- 
tion or plastic handling. Crawford's were the freer ; Rogers's the 
more precise. In neither was there any lack of conscience ; the 
sculptors probably did their best. If they seem to us to have been 
easily satisfied, it was because of the limitations of their ideals and of 
their skill. The structural beauty, as well as the subtleties of the 
Ghiberti Gates, meant no more to them than does an intricate musi- 
cal composition to a whistling schoolboy. Jarves's comments on the 
Rogers doors are suggestive. The sculptor would have been help- 
less with such a conception as he points out had it been forced upon 
him ; but for other men and other times here is a dream of a higher 
standard of art in exalted places : — 

" Rogers was commissioned to create doors for the Capitol at 
Washington. In the light of symbolic portals to a Temple of Free- 
dom, the idea partakes of the sublime. But the American is too 
impatient for original inspiration, and he has no adequate concep- 
tion of his opportunity for noble work. Borrowing his general ideas 
from Ghiberti, he hurriedly elaborates a prosaic historical composi- 
tion of the ' Discovery of America by Columbus,' clever and inter- 
esting as illustration, but far beneath the requirements of creative 
art or the dignity of the occasion." 1 

The early death of Crawford had left a number of his works 
unfinished. Various sculptors residing in Rome were commissioned 
to carry them on to completion. To his friend Randolph Rogers 

1 Jarves, "Art Idea," p. 274. 



STORY AND RANDOLPH ROGERS 165 

was allotted the important Washington monument at Richmond. 
Crawford had supplied the equestrian group and two standing figures. 
To Rogers then fell the designing and execution of the four remain- 
ing portrait statues and the six allegorical figures which form the 
outposts of the monument and which replace as many eagles in the 
original design. 

The front position is occupied by Crawford's spirited " Patrick 
Henry." Next to the right as one makes the circuit of the pile is 
Rogers's " Mason," succeeded by Crawford's " Jefferson " ; then " Nel- 
son," " Marshall," and " Lewis," all by Rogers. The " Mason " sug- 
gests a man of character, but is certainly not a distinguished work 
of art. The author of the Bill of Rights stands with an easy swing, 
holding the historic document — properly labelled — in one hand 
and his pen in the other. The figure is in colonial attire, unembar- 
rassed by other drapery, and recalls innumerable statues in England 
and in Germany. The treatment throughout is formal and colorless, 
the hair in particular being quite without charm of handling. 

The " Nelson " advances with dignified gesture and proffers a 
national bond. The left hand resting upon the sword suggests an 
alternative, but probably the movement is without significance. 
The pose is good ; indeed, the figure stands remarkably well, but 
in conception and in treatment it is serenely commonplace. It was 
evidently done without enthusiasm. The only thing about the figure 
to appeal to one is its perilous position. The skittish Pegasus above 
has backed halfway off its pedestal directly over the unconscious 
financier and threatens all kinds of disaster. The " Marshall " 
clasps in both hands a ponderous volume inscribed " Justice." 
The hands are thin and sharply defined. The long robe gives to 
the delicate figure a somewhat effeminate look, but also affords an 
effective sculptural mass. One is reminded of Story's " Marshall," 
or even more of his " Professor Henry " ; but not Rogers himself 
could vie with Story in matter of lean, dry treatment of drapery. 
" Lewis," arrayed in the picturesque garb of a trapper, is probably 
the best of Rogers's contributions. The figure is alert and indeed 
admirably conceived. Like the others it is capably constructed and 
stands well on its feet. Like the others, too, it is unpleasantly harsh 
throughout in treatment, all details being sharp and rigid. The face 



1 66 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

is expressive in an elementary way, but is guiltless of suavity of 
modelling. Rogers's ideals may have been high, but his technic 
was that of the stone mason. Were these figures actually in stone, 
we could extenuate their defects in part; but since the models passed 
through no other hands than the founder's, their execution is evi- 
dently what the sculptor intended and what he considered good 
art. It was the inevitable, the obligatory standard of the day. 

The six little bronze women of this Washington group, who are 
set on pedestals directly in front of the portrait statues, were doubt- 
less intended to enrich the work, but they do not add to its impres- 
siveness. In reality of life-size, they look much smaller. They sit 
crushed into six precisely similar masses of flags, and though bearing 
different names are all so much alike as to become cumulatively even 
more uninteresting than when considered separately. Indeed, they 
seem to vary only in matter of pose of arms and in regard to certain 
accessories. "Revolution" wears a liberty cap and points sternly 
with her left hand at her label while lifting her sword slightly from 
the ground. " Bill of Rights " summons her strength and lifts the 
sword higher. " Independence " and " Justice " look much concerned, 
with appropriate gestures. " Colonial Times " is armed with an axe 
and holds a tomahawk in reserve. The most expressive of these 
quiescent, colorless figures is " Finance," beside whom the else- 
where constant cannon-end is replaced by a helmet, into which 
she thoughtfully drops a coin. She also holds a large book, doubt- 
less a ledger. 

Among the casts at Ann Arbor may be seen the plaster " Bill of 
Rights." " President John Adams " is to be found there also, just 
as weak and dapper as the marble at Mount Auburn, where he keeps 
company with Otis and Story and Winthrop in the vestibule of the 
new chapel. The " Angel of the Resurrection," Mr. Tuckerman 
tells us, is " impressive." He proceeds : " The left hand extending 
downward indicates an attitude of attention for the signal to blow 
the trumpet, which is in the right hand reposing on the bosom. The 
face, looking upward, is full of life. It is a figure which presents a 
union of loveliness and majesty." * We could hardly employ any of 
these adjectives to-day in speaking of it ; the statue is too much like 

1 " Book of the Artists." p. 591. 




FIG. 22. — ROGERS: NYDIA, ART INSTITUTE, CHICAGO. 



STORY AND RANDOLPH ROGERS 1 69 

the commercial gravestone images in treatment for that ; the con- 
ventional head with its strange mop of hair all around it does not 
satisfy present-day ideas of beauty, even of celestial beauty ; but the 
thought and the pose are certainly suggestive. The figure might 
become " impressive " in very fact if the right man could only work 
it over. Evidently Rogers appreciated its value, for he used it again 
in the form of a relief. An ascending female figure in high relief is 
less happily conceived ; while a " Sonnambula," intended as a pen- 
dant to the " Nydia," is, like most "pendants," far less inspired than 
the first conception. 

The " Genius of Connecticut," which crowns the dome of the 
State House at Hartford, is very unfortunate in line from all sides. 
Its silhouette is further marred by the weak tilt of one of the wreaths 
held in the extended hands. Though this was done doubtless for 
variety, the wreath appears to be breaking off. 

On the other hand, Mr. Rogers's two important portrait statues 
of " Lincoln " and "Seward " are adequate. They have been spoken 
of with uniform respect. The " Lincoln," in Philadelphia, " is a 
work of very sterling qualities, and is entitled to the credit of being 
one of the few really successful portraits of a great man whose rather 
ungainly figure made him the despair of artists." x Regarding the 
"Seward," in Madison Square, New York, the Art Journal of Lon- 
don of September, 1877, said: "Although open to criticism in a few 
details, it is, as a whole, an excellent piece of work, worthy of its con- 
spicuous position in one of the great centres of the metropolis." 

These two seated figures are almost identical in pose and propor- 
tion, varying, like the traditional statues of the Roman emperors, 
only in the heads, and are characterized by painstaking finish of the 
old-fashioned monotonous sort, rather than by amplitude or technical 
grace. There is no largeness in the gesture nor freedom of attitude, 
though the legs are crossed unconventionally, but the facial charac- 
terization is excellent. 

One would scarcely believe the great bronze " Michigan " on the 
military monument at Detroit to be from the same hand that made 
the " Genius of Connecticut." It is almost inspired ; the artist has 
been really interested in it — an Amazon figure armed "with sword 

1 " Great American Sculptures," p. 79. 



170 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

and shield, while an Indian tomahawk in the girdle and an Indian 
head-dress of shells and feathers symbolize the original inhabitants of 
the territory." She advances aggressively, and has much vigor. 
The unusually expressive face, the bared arms, and the sweep of the 
drapery contribute to make certain views very effective. Below, on 
successive steps, are four soldiers and four allegorical figures, inter- 
spersed with reliefs. The seated female figures are of the same 
character as the Richmond decorations, though rather more interest- 
ing. " Emancipation," in particular, is worthy of study ; an African 
type, idealized and treated heroically. It is for this memorial that 
the sculptor did his best monumental work. 

Randolph Rogers will be remembered for his industry, for the mass 
of his production and its dignity, rather than for original power or for 
skill of craftsmanship. With one or two exceptions, after "Nydia" 
and the " Lost Pleiad," he seems singularly stolid. For him no 
"impassioned personal outlook on life "! One seeks vainly in most 
of his work for poetry, or even for expression. His figures are of 
unexceptionable decorum, and one feels them incapable of anything 
else. The art of a Carpeaux, for instance, and that of Rogers, are as 
the antipodes ; but Rogers and Saint Gaudens are little nearer to- 
gether. Yet, "among modern sculptors, Randolph Rogers occupies 
a foremost place," according to his admirers, and in proof thereof it 
is pointed out that he was one of the three Americans selected by 
Liibke 1 as worthy of special mention. He was also honored in 
Rome by being elected as the successor of Crawford to a chair in the 
Academy of Saint Luke, the oldest art academy in the world. 

In 1882 failing health compelled Mr. Rogers to relinquish work 
in his studio. He died in Rome, Jan. 15, 1892. 

'"History of Art," Vol. II, p. 6n. 



CHAPTER IX 

RINEHART AND JOHN ROGERS 

The name of William H. Rinehart has come again into public 
notice within the past few years by reason of the scholarship for which 
he made provision at the time of his death in 1874. The sum of 
money which he was able to devote to the education of American sculp- 
tors was small, but being allowed to accumulate for nearly a quarter 
of a century it has increased enough to become important. When, 
in 1895, its trustees made announcement of their choice of the first 
beneficiaries of the Rinehart fund, few knew more of Rinehart and 
his achievements than did the country at large of the two young 
sculptors who were to profit by his gift. 

Mr. Rinehart 's life seems to have been as uneventful as that of 
most of the brotherhood. Born in 1825, the son of a farmer of Car- 
roll County, Maryland, his early years were those of the average 
farmer's boy until the opening of a quarry on the place gave further 
scope to his youthful energies. For some reason blasting and ham- 
mering appealed to him more than ploughing and harvesting, and in 
a short time the youth had become assistant to a stone-cutter and 
mason of the neighborhood. To most people this would appear to 
be but slight improvement so far as labor was concerned ; but natural 
taste, or a blind instinct, had dictated the change, and to it we doubt- 
less owe the fruition of this artist's life. Farmers are of small use in 
a city, but a stone-cutter can take care of himself there, and in 1846 
the sturdy young man of twenty-one made his way to Baltimore, 
where he soon obtained employment and quickly demonstrated his 
intelligence and courage by seeking instruction in the night schools 
of the Maryland Institute. It is easy to see the importance of this 
step in the development of the artist, but few realize what heroism it 
represents. After working a long day of ten or possibly twelve 

171 



172 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

hours at the hardest of all kinds of manual labor, it takes moral 
courage to devote the evening to study. On his feet continuously 
from seven in the morning till ten at night, day in and day out — 
such was the regular programme of the future sculptor. 

In 1855 Mr. Rinehart was able to go abroad, and took the usual 
pathway straight to Italy. His stay was short, but he learned all 
that he could in the time, and he executed while there two bas- 
reliefs, " Night " and " Day." Opening a studio in Baltimore upon 
his return, he soon received orders for several works, among them 
being a fountain for the old Post-office in Washington, and fig- 
ures of an " Indian " and a " Backwoodsman," which once supported 
the clock of the House of Representatives. Maryland was not Italy, 
however, and the young artist soon found that the fascinations of the 
Eternal City had taken a strong hold upon him. He was unhappy 
until he could be once more in that artist world of which Baltimore 
offered no hint, and he returned to Rome in 1S58, there to remain 
until the time of his death, Oct. 28, 1874. 

It is in Baltimore that one may study Mr. Rinehart's work to the 
best advantage.. In the Peabody Institute of that city have been 
brought together the plaster casts of no fewer than forty-two of his 
most important figures, busts, and reliefs, besides three of his mar- 
bles ; while but a few steps from the building is his impressive bronze 
statue of Chief Justice Taney. Twenty-three of these works are 
busts, generally bare-breasted and old-fashioned enough in air, but 
good professional work of their time. While these are never very 
intimate and can scarcely be said to make one feel acquainted with 
their subjects, they are well drawn and have a certain largeness of 
treatment, the result perhaps of this very summariness of characteri- 
zation. A bust of Mrs. George S. Brown of Baltimore is superior 
to the average, while the head of the Hon. James M. Mason of 
Virginia offered a noble type which evidently inspired the sculptor. 

The early reliefs of " Day" and " Night" are graceful fancies, but 
look very lean when compared with the casts of celebrated French 
decorations which stand near them in the Peabody Institute. They 
show the untrained hand and mind, even the first principles of relief 
being neglected. " Dav," a little figure almost in the round, resembles 
Randolph Rogers's " Lost Pleiad " attached to a plaque. " Night " is 




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RINEHART AND JOHN ROGERS 1 75 

even less happy in movement, being occupied in painting stars upon 
her mantle while she flies, an operation which is obviously incon- 
venient. A bas-relief head of the sculptor himself shows a handsome 
bearded man with clean-cut features. The largest cast is the seated 
portrait of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, which, while lacking 
all charm of modern technic, is an admirably monumental work. One 
recognizes in it a fine, dignified characterization of the man, and at 
any distance the impressive mass makes itself felt. The original 
bronze is at Annapolis, Maryland, and there is a replica in Mount 
Vernon Square, Baltimore. 

In this very complete collection of Mr. Rinehart's casts there are 
naturally some insignificant and unworthy works, of which mention 
need not be made. Others, which may be seen to better advantage 
in various museums, will be considered later; but there remain several 
graceful figures which one lingers over with pleasure. One of the 
earliest is a tall and beautifully proportioned nude, modelled in 1858, 
and entitled " Entering the Bath." " Strewing Flowers," the original 
of the bronze upon the grave of Mrs. W. T. Walters, in Greenmount 
Cemetery, is one of the most satisfying expressions of the American 
classic school of sculpture. A graceful standing figure, modelled in 
1864 and cast in 1865, it possesses a really sculptural distinction 
coupled with unusual refinement. The bowed head purports to be 
" Greek," but is considerably tinged by the nineteenth century. The 
gentle mourner holds a few flowers which the extended right hand 
drops, one by one, upon the grave. A modification of this figure, 
in which a wreath of immortelles is substituted for the flowers, was 
made ten years later, and may be seen also in the Institute. 

Another figure, a small and very earnest " Hero," in somewhat the 
attitude of Dannecker's " Ariadne," waits upon a rock for her lover. 
The pretty, conventional face wears a frown ; the waves which beat 
around her are too tidily ruffled ; but the artist's conception was a 
beautiful one. This little figure is in marble, well carved ; a replica 
may be seen in the Pennsylvania Academy. 

The gem of the collection, however, is the life-size marble nude 
of " Clytie " (Fig. 24), a work of the year 1872, which vies in distinc- 
tion with the sculptor's " Latona and her Children," the marble of 
which is in the Metropolitan Museum. The " Clytie " gives name to 



176 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

a special gallery of the Peabody Institute, where it stands in well- 
merited prominence. A plaster cast of the figure, in the Corcoran 
Gallery in Washington, permits of an interesting comparison of this 
sweet girlish form with Powers's " Greek Slave " in the same build- 
ing. In grace, in sapiency of handling, in charm of expression, there 
is no question of the superiority of the " Clytie." The " Greek Slave " 
is, technically speaking, the effort of a conscientious beginner; the 
" Clytie," the achievement of a skilled artist. It has its shortcomings, 
to be sure ; the inadequacy of the head, the weakness of the left 
arm, the obtrusive carving of the sunflower, are sufficiently obvious; 
but despite all this, the modest grace and freshness of the work 
make it delightful : a violet would be its fitting symbol rather than 
the flaunting sunflower. 

The Metropolitan Museum of New York contains three valu- 
able examples of Mr. Rinehart's sculpture. The most important of 
these, " Latona and her Children " (Fig. 23), was carved in 1874, the 
year of the sculptor's death, and closed with honor a career of un- 
usual significance. The queen mother is shown seated, bending in 
proud tenderness over her sleeping children. It would have been 
easy to lapse into sentimentality, — to have depended too much upon 
those " dear babies," — but the artist has guided his thoughts upon 
a high plane. This is more than pretty sculpture ; it has a measure 
of breadth and bigness. It shows not only sentiment but con- 
struction, good drawing, and beautiful modelling — above all, dignity 
of conception and of treatment. In the nude forms there is more 
than a suggestion of mellowness, while even the drapery is less stiff 
and lean than in most works of its time. Indeed, in comparison 
with certain famous statues near at hand — its contemporaries — the 
workmanship is excellent. Accessories, too, are subordinated in 
such a degree that the group might almost be taken for a product 
of recent days. It may be added that few of our later sculptures 
possess the serene poetic charm of Rinehart's " Latona." 

" Antigone at the Tomb of her Brother, Polynices " is perhaps 
the least interesting of Rinehart's larger works, although a well-con- 
structed figure with a good " swing " and wrapped in closely studied 
draper}- of the old school. One turns gladly to the third example 
of this sculptor's art, which stands near by. This is a graceful 



RINEHART AND JOHN ROGERS 177 

" Rebecca," which, though of life-size, is as charming as a little 
Tanagra figurine. The maiden holds her pitcher in both hands, 
supporting it upon the knee. The dainty head is turned a little to 
one side as though in meditation. One observes that the chiselling 
of the hair is refined, and that the arms and hands are gracefully 
modelled. The whole conception is delicate and pure. It is one of 
the few works in that stately hall which one might covet. The marble 
is dated 1874, but the original plaster cast in Baltimore (bearing the 
title, "Woman of Samaria") is inscribed with the date 1857, which 
would seem to be a mistake, since the figure could not have been 
modelled in the United States. 

The Corcoran Gallery is enriched by the presence of several of 
Mr. Rinehart's works. He seems to have had a predilection for 
sleeping figures — a taste in which many another carver of stone can 
sympathize, since sleep offers to sculptors the double advantage of a 
quiescence that is plausible and does away with the necessity of the 
conventional eye. The closed eyelids are essentially sculptural and 
contribute in no small measure to the subtle, slightly veiled look of 
the face so precious to the accomplished modeller. Rinehart's little 
" Endymion " dreams peacefully in one corner of the room that is 
dedicated to the " Greek Slave." The less celebrated figure shows 
a great advance beyond the art of Powers's generation, though it 
reveals some unfortunate features which mark well its place in the 
historic sequence. Happily the couch upon which the boy reposes 
is less irritating to him than it is to the spectator. He is stretched 
upon a fleece which is quite too carefully elaborated, and the soft 
forms of the body and the marble wool never lose themselves 
together. Everywhere a strong black line of shadow separates them 
like the leaded figures of stained glass windows. With equal con- 
sistency the fleece holds itself well aloof from the bank upon which 
it has been thrown : it can be bounded like a state upon the map, 
and its head and legs and tail are carefully accounted for. The bank 
is a poverty-stricken affair, decorated with an occasional rosette of 
leaves — a stranded starfish on the beach — to symbolize vegetation 
in general. But these things are all accessories, and we have seen 
that no one knew how to do accessories in those days. The youth- 
ful figure is after all the important matter, and this is sculpturally 



178 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

conceived and full of charm. Its position is easy and its lines 
graceful. The beautiful body is irreproachable in construction 
and sufficiently well modelled ; the young face, sweet without being 
insipid — the face of a handsome boy who sleeps well. The hair is 
monotonously grooved, but shows good massing. The marble- 
walled museum does not seem an appropriate resting-place for this 
little dreamer. One cannot help thinking how much more fit would 
be the setting of a trellised arbor or a bosquet where the amorous 
moonlight might steal in and caress the pale form. An Endymion 
amidst such surroundings would have significance. One wonders 
if the artist had no such vision. This figure, in bronze, forms an 
appropriate and touching memorial over the sculptor's grave in 
Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore. The replica is in some respects 
much more beautiful than the marble, showing that the sharpness 
and severity of certain details of the latter were largely gratuitous on 
the part of the carver. 

The same hall of the Corcoran Gallery contains a bust by Mr. 
Rinehart, " Penseroso," in which the family traits of the Powers 
heads reveal themselves. However, a second look will detect the 
great advance of this work beyond its prototypes by the earlier sculp- 
tor. While all of these so-called " ideal " heads resemble each other 
like cousins, in general effect, and even in certain specific features, 
such as the machine-made hair, where not a line wanders, there 
is here, on the other hand, a growing richness of modelling and 
a hint of character, an approach to personality, which the earlier 
men of Italian training sedulously avoided in their creations of 
fancy. Though not approaching the interest of Palmer's native 
types, the " Penseroso " has a certain charm ; the profile in partic- 
ular is almost intelligently beautiful. 

In another hall of the same building is a replica of a group 
of " Sleeping Children," the original of which is upon a grave in 
Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore. One is reminded of Chantrey's 
pretty sleepers in Lichfield Cathedral. The two babies lie snug- 
gled together, the one with a protecting hand thrown over the 
other. The little couch with its comfortable mattress and pillow 
looks odd in sculpture ; but the figures are well done, and the 
drapery is pleasingly arranged and carefully wrought. Such a 



RINEHART AND JOHN ROGERS 



179 



subject may seem trivial, but its success depends largely on its treat- 
ment. This group is certainly a work of art. Its sentiment and 
its execution together make it important, like Jean Dampt's babies 
and those fascinating little nestlings in the arms of Paul Dubois's 
" Charity." The delightful heads and chubby arms remind one 
of the latter ; they are true baby heads, lovingly done, and no one 
can look at them without a 
feeling that the artist was 
very happy in his work. 

Surely, too, he must have 
had a consciousness of its excel- 
lence. He must have been 
aware that, whether recognized 
or not, he was doing the most 
beautiful sculpture that' any 
American had yet produced in 
Italy, giving it a delicacy and 
refinement unknown to his col- 
leagues. His subjects, to be 
sure, are, as a rule, the old hack- 
neyed themes, — he is strictly 
with his contemporaries in that 
regard, — but as he looked 
about him, the modest, un- 
heralded Southerner saw no 
rival in Powers and Rogers and 
Story, famous though they had 
become. The man who created 

the " Latona " and the " Endymion " need not begrudge them their 
oft-repeated " Eves " and " Nydias " and " Cleopatras." These archaic 
works, the puerilities of Ives, the ineptitudes of Mozier, the futile 
strivings of Hart, must have amused or saddened him ; but one 
fancies that he did not concern himself so very much with the 
question, " Who shall be greatest ? " He simply toiled on with 
diligence and good cheer, repaid in full by the work itself. And 
now, nearly thirty years after his death, we are beginning to dis- 
cover him and to think of him as one of the living men. 




Fig. 24. — Rinehart: Clytie, Peabody Institute. 



l8o THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Rinehart was among the last of American sculptors to espouse 
classicism, though its traditions were continued for some time after 
his death by others of our artists who remained abroad. -Not a 
few, however, of his contemporaries began early to show a tendency 
toward frank realism, a phase of sculpture which was destined to 
reach much prominence within a short time. No art could be more 
opposed to Rinehart's measured utterance than was the vigorously 
native expression of John Rogers. So abrupt is the change that it 
may be well to introduce the home-products by a brief reference — 
in the nature of comment — to work in a related field of artistic 
endeavor. 

A generous thought was voiced by a well-known novelist of the 
day at an authors' dinner in London, when he told his colleagues 
they must face the fact that to the mass of the people literature was a 
blank page. In his opinion the duty of the author was to choose the 
audience of the highest class he was capable of reaching, and when 
he had chosen it, to do the best work he could. The duty of the 
critic was to recognize what audience the author was capable of 
reaching, not to take him too seriously, and not to tell him that, be- 
cause he could not achieve the highest of all things, therefore he was 
not worth anything at all. This kindly counsel may apply with no 
less pertinence to other fields of criticism. Particularly in dealing 
with the early, half-starved art of the United States, is one impelled 
to follow the suggestion of that other genial critic who not long since 
concluded a column of keen analysis with the remorseful after-thought, 
" Perhaps, after all, we should praise a book [work] for what it is 
rather than blame it for what it is not." 

To that very considerable public which has looked upon John 
Rogers as our greatest, if not our only sculptor, these introductory 
words may seem ungracious. There are to-day, however, as many 
more to whom a little knowledge has become a dangerous thing, and 
who have so far outgrown the " Rogers groups " that they do not even 
recognize them as sculpture. It is for the benefit of these austere 
critics that the above conciliatory citations are made. And for their 
yet further benefit it may be urged that, to the army of simple- 
minded admirers of "Weighing the Baby" and "Checkers on the 
Farm," must be joined a smaller group of thoughtful men and women 



RINEHART AND JOHN ROGERS 181 

who see in Mr. Rogers's work something deeper than its indiscrimi- 
nate realism and its misplaced attempts at humor. They find within 
its homely oddities a hint at an indigenous art, an art inspired by the 
life of our own time. 

The first requisite of any artist is intelligence, and the second 
sympathy ; but an artist is not compounded of these two elements 
alone, else we might at once pronounce John Rogers a great artist, 
without further qualification. Other things are required ; taste must 
enter early into the artistic composition, and mastery must not tarry 
far behind. Of the latter Mr. Rogers has enough for his purpose, 
and for his public ; but in the matter of taste he seems often very de- 
ficient. One is not disposed to blame him for his love of homely 
subjects, but more beauty might well enter into his interpretation of 
them. Else why do sculpture at all ? Is it too much to ask that 
there should be a sculptural sense and a fitness of theme to the 
chosen material ? Such considerations have troubled Mr. Roarers 
but little ; he elaborates for us a counter laden with the treasures of 
a country store or a scheme involving two or three church pews, with 
as much satisfaction as he shows in constructing that really monu- 
mental group, "One More Shot" (Fig. 25). Beauty, either cor- 
poreal or decorative, makes slight appeal to him, and he is weakest 
when he attempts such expression. It is evident, then, that his work 
must be measured by other standards than those which we apply to 
the achievements of Saint Gaudens and French. George Barnard 
and John Rogers have at least a continent's space between them. 
One is a sculptor " by first intention," the latter a story-teller who 
has chosen a plastic medium for expression. But work as distinctive 
and widely welcome as that of Mr. Rogers has been is not to be sum- 
marily suppressed nor ignored. This interesting man has made a real 
contribution to American art as well as to American history. It is 
not within our power, even if we so willed, to cast the " Rogers groups " 
into outer darkness. 

They have been compared to chromos, but this is manifestly 
unjust. Some of them, to be sure, are infinitely less artistic than 
certain chromos, for a chromo may bear the design if not the color 
of a masterpiece, and there is no masterpiece of designing among 
Mr. Rogers's creations. These are tiny men and women, " taken 



1 82 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

just as they come," and without thought as to how they will look 
best. But herein lies their excellence as well. They are sponta- 
neous and they are expressive in their straightforward way, — so 
much we must acknowledge, — and these are very good things to 
find in any art. 

Mr. Rogers has a method of generalization all his own. His 
figures are not literal transcripts ; their treatment, though precise, is 
summary. However trivial the thought, it always dominates the 
execution. Mr. Rogers is no Italian carver, in love with textures; 
he corresponds more nearly to our painters, Thomas Hovenden and 
J. G. Brown ; he is full of his story, and insists on telling it in his 
own way. It is true that the primitive appeal of his groups is to 
the uncultivated, but there is nothing flashy or exaggerated in their 
sentiment. They are as honest and as inelegant as a stable boy. 
But while their stolidity is often amusing, they are alive. The 
joints of his dramatis personce may creak a little, but there are no 
lay figures among them. Each character plays his part as industri- 
ously and conscientiously as though the fate of the nation depended 
upon it. One understands them readily, for their mental equipment 
is devoid of subtle complexities. Their little clay brains are as free 
from conflicting emotions as are their faces and clothes from suavity 
of modelling. Their smiles and frowns have been incised with the 
same sharp chisel which has shaped their shoes. But they are real 
little personalities, and each one of them stands for an idea. They 
tell their story, and in spite of all their uncouthness and simplicity, 
or by reason of it, they have appealed to thousands, who have found 
in them their first introduction to sculpture. 

Mr. Rogers was born in Salem, Massachusetts, Oct. 30, 1829. 
He is of New England colonial ancestry. His father, John Rogers 
of Boston, was the son of Daniel Denison Rogers, a merchant of 
that city, and his mother was the daughter of John Derby, a mer- 
chant of Salem. He was educated in a New England common 
school, and on leaving it found employment in a store. He began 
the study of civil engineering, but having strained his eyes, went, at 
the age of nineteen, into a machine shop at Manchester, New Hamp- 
shire, as an apprentice. He worked up through all the branches, 
including the draughting room and office, and finally had charge of a 



RINEHART AND JOHN ROGERS 1 83 

railroad repair shop in the West. During the first seven years of 
this life he remained quite unaware of his own talent. One day 
while in Boston he chanced to see a man modelling images in clay. 
The sight fired him with an ambition to experiment in the same 
field. He was bound to his trade during fourteen hours of the day, 
but in his scanty leisure he learned the use of modelling tools and 
materials, and soon developed an intense longing to devote himself 
to the fascinating art. 

Finally, toward the close of 1858, he was able to make a trip to 
Europe in order to see and learn something of sculpture. He was 
absent about eight months, visiting Paris and Rome ; but, as Tuck- 
erraan puts it, " Not perceiving how he could turn his style of design 
to account, and having no great sympathy for the classic style " 
(which one may well believe), he returned much disheartened, and 
abandoning all thought of making sculpture a profession, engaged 
as draughtsman in the office of the city surveyor of Chicago. The 
hours of work were not long, however, and the ingenious young 
draughtsman soon felt himself irresistibly drawn to his favorite 
employment, and amused himself with the construction of a group 
of small figures which he styled " The Checker Players." This was 
exhibited at a charity fair in Chicago, " where it attracted great 
attention and was highly praised for its faithfulness in details, which 
is a characteristic of all his works." 

Encouraged by this success, Mr. Rogers resigned his situation, 
and devoted himself exclusively and enthusiastically to his new- 
found art. His first important work was the "Slave Auction," 
which he modelled in Chicago and took to New York in i860, 
where it was exhibited. Owing to the excitement then prevalent 
over the slave question, it attracted much attention. The Civil 
War now brought into view a host of subjects which Mr. Rogers 
treated effectively and with much patriotic fervor. He hired a 
large attic studio at 599 Broadway, and there devoted himself zeal- 
ously to the production of the groups which have given him his 
reputation. These were reproduced in a peculiar composition, in 
moulds made over bronze models. A New York journal of forty 
years ago tells us how these works were received : — 

" All day and every day, week in and week out, there is an ever 



184 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

changing crowd of men, women, and children standing stationary 
amid the ever surging tides of Broadway, before the windows of 
Williams and Stevens, gazing with eager interest upon the statu- 
ettes and groups of the sculptor, John Rogers. These works appeal 
to a deep popular sentiment. They are not pretentious displays of 
gods, goddesses, ideal characters, or stupendous, world-compelling 
heroes. They are illustrations of American domestic, and especially 
of American military, life — not of our great generals or our bold 
admirals or the men whose praises fill all the newspapers, but of the 
common soldier of the Union ; not of the common soldier, either, 
in what might be called his high heroic moods and moments, when, 
with waving sword and flaming eye, he dashes upon the enemy's 
works, but of the soldier in the ordinary moments and usual occu- 
pations of everyday camp life. For the last year or more Mr. 
Rogers has been at work mainly on groups of this latter class and 
character. Thus he has given us ' The Returned Volunteer, or 
How the Fort was Taken,' being a group of three gathered in a 
blacksmith's shop, the characters consisting of the blacksmith him- 
self, standing with his right foot on the anvil-block and his big 
hammer in his hand, listening eagerly, with his little girl, to a sol- 
dier who sits close by on his haunches, narrating ' how the fort was 
taken.' We have also another group of three, ' The Picket Guard,' 
spiritedly sketched, as in eager, close, and nervous search for the 
enemy ; the ' Sharp-shooters,' another group of three, or rather of 
two men and a scarecrow, illustrating a curious practice in our army 
of deceiving the enemy ; the ' Town Pump,' a scene in which a 
soldier, uniformed and accoutred, is slaking his thirst and holding 
blessed converse beside the pump with a pretty girl who has come 
for a pail of water; the 'Union Refugees,' a pathetic and noble 
group, consisting of a stalwart and sad-faced east Tennesseean or 
Virginian, who, accompanied by his wife who leans her head upon 
his bosom, and by his little boy who looks up eagerly into his face, 
has started off from home with only his gun upon his shoulder and 
his powder-horn by his side to escape the tyranny of the rebels ; the 
' Camp Fire, or Making Friends with the Cook,' in which a hungry 
soldier, seated upon an inverted basket, is reading a newspaper to 
an ' intelligent contraband,' who is stirring the tempting contents of 



RINEHART AND JOHN ROGERS 



I8 5 



a huge and ebullient pot hung over the fire; 'Wounded to the 
Rear, or One More Shot,' in which a soldier is represented as dress- 
ing his wounded leg, while his companion, with his left arm in a 
sling, is trying to load his gun to take another shot at the enemy, 
toward whom he looks defiantly ; ' Mail Day,' which tells its own 
story of a speculative soldier, seated on a stone and racking his poor 
brains to find some ideas to transcribe upon the paper which 
he holds upon his knee, 
to be sent, perchance, 
to her he loves ; ' The 
Country Postmaster, or 
News from the Army,' 
which, though a scene 
from civil life, tells of 
the anxiety of the sol- 
dier's wife or sweetheart 



to get tidings from the 
brave volunteer who is 
perilling his life on the 
battlefield; 'The 
Wounded Scout, or a 
Friend in the Swamp,' 
representing a soldier, 
torn and bleeding and 
far gone, rescued and 
raised up by a faithful 
and kind-souled negro, 
which, we think, is one 
of the best, if not the 
very best of Mr. Rogers's works ; and lastly, a group called ' The 
Home Guard, or Midnight on the Border,' in which a heroic 
woman, accompanied by a little girl, is represented as stepping 
out, pistol in hand, to confront the assailants of her humble home." 
Some of these certainly were among his best ; they had a rea- 
son for their existence, and an emotional as well as a sculptural 
unity ; but in many of them, as in most of the later ones, the 
group is "group" only in name, the figures being scattered as 




Fig. 25. — Rogers : One More Shot. 



1 86 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

upon the stage of a theatre. Mr. Jarves once wrote high eulogies 
on his friend, saying among other things : " We know of no 
sculptor like John Rogers of New York in the Old World, and 
he stands alone in his chosen field, heretofore in all ages appro- 
priated by painting" — thus noting with approval one of Mr. 
Rogers's weakest points and praising him for his excursions into 
a territory properly belonging to another art. 

However, " One More Shot," " Union Refugees," and a num- 
ber more are admirably sculptural in conception and, as Jarves 
claims, "thoroughly American in the best sense of the word." 
Among the later groups, " The Charity Patient " is especially 
notable for its tender pathos. " The Slave's Story " and " Coun- 
cil of War" attracted much attention for the excellent portraits 
of famous men which they presented, the first including those of 
Whittier, Garrison, and Beecher, and the second those of Lincoln, 
Grant, and Stanton. 

Equally good is the portrait of Joseph Jefferson in the scenes 
from " Rip Van Winkle," but in most of the later works the com- 
position is hopelessly diffused and the subject of slight interest. 

Mr. Rogers was made a full member of the National Academy 
in 1863. He exhibited in the Paris Exposition of 1867 three 
groups in bronze, — "One More Shot" "Taking the Oath," and 
" The Wounded Scout." At the Centennial he had no fewer than 
twenty-nine groups, and at the Columbian Exposition he received 
a gold medal for his dignified seated figure of Lincoln. Another 
effort in sculpture of heroic size is his well-known equestrian 
statue of General John F. Reynolds, which stands before the 
City Hall of Philadelphia. 



CHAPTER X 

OTHER SCULPTORS BORN BEFORE 1830 

During this middle period flourished a great number of 
sculptors of the second magnitude, men who were less renowned 
than Story and less artists than Palmer and Ball, but who are 
nevertheless entitled to honorable mention in any history of 
American sculpture. The most prominent of these names are 
Rimmer, Gould, Richard Greenough, Bartholomew, Akers, Jack- 
son, and Volk. 

Dr. William Rimmer achieved a unique reputation in the East, 
but his share in the development of American sculpture is not 
easily defined. His anatomical knowledge and his enthusiasm 
were extraordinary, and doubtless left their imprint upon many 
students as well as upon the public at large, which he interested 
to a certain degree ; but his own works, however remarkable when 
the method of their production is considered, were valueless as 
sculpture. He persisted in executing nudes, and even important 
monumental commissions, without models, and while he " never 
missed a muscle nor forgot an attachment," the results are curious 
rather than edifying. This interesting man was born at Liverpool, 
England, in 1816. His father was a French refugee, whose real 
name is not known. Dr. Rimmer studied and practised medicine 
for a time, painting portraits and religious pictures between calls. 
He carved in granite, in 1861, the " Head of Saint Stephen," which 
is now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, — a strange primitive 
conception with exaggerated muscles — and produced, soon after, 
the yet more archaic " Falling Gladiator." In 1864 he executed, 
in two weeks, the model of the much-discussed granite figure of 
Alexander Hamilton, on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, thereby 
debarring himself from further opportunity in Boston. An " Osiris," 

187 



1 88 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

his favorite work, followed. A "Dying Centaur" (about 1871) 
and a group of " Fighting Lions " complete the list of his actual 
works, though his projects fill a book, as his dreams peopled the 
entire world in which he dwelt. His "Art Anatomy," published in 
1887, is a wonder of erudition, comprising the notes and illustra- 
tions of his many lectures before the Lowell Institute, Boston, the 
National Academy in New York, and the Boston Museum of 
Fine Arts. He died at South Milford, Massachusetts, in 1879. 

Dr. Rimmer's services as a teacher of anatomy receive full 
recognition from his biographer, Mr. Truman H. Bartlett. 1 " His 
method of teaching was new, and would be so to-day. He drew 
in chalk, upon a blackboard, every bone and muscle with which 
the artist need be acquainted ; first, as an independent fact, and 
then in its relations to the formation of the complete figure." 
Each member was drawn in turn, and finally the entire figure itself. 
So far as delineation and explanation could answer in a system 
of art education, this method sufficed. Though what it offered 
was "the teaching of the lecture room," rather than that "seri- 
ously discovered and applied knowledge" which serves longest 
and best, yet " it seemed to be precisely what was needed by the 
persons who attended the lectures." At any rate, they received 
this advantage : their instruction " came through the inspiring- 
medium of a strong man." The same writer, in the American 
Art Review for 18S0, referring to Rimmer's course of lectures at 
the Lowell Institute during the winter of 1 863-1 864, states that it 
"was attended by the leading artists and many of the physicians 
and professional men of Boston and vicinity, all of whom agreed in 
gladly testifying that it was the most learned and splendid exhibi- 
tion of art anatomical knowledge they had ever seen." 

Thomas Gould (born 1818), a merchant of refined nature and 
artistic inclinations, took up the study of sculpture somewhat late in 
life, modelling his first figure in the studio of Seth Cheney, a portrait 
painter of Boston, in the year 185 1. The study, begun as a diver- 
sion, made strong appeal to Mr. Gould's poetic nature, and when, 
some years later, the war swept away his modest fortune and ended 
his business career, he turned without regret to art for solace and 

1 "The Art Life of William Rimmer," by Truman H. Bartlett. pp. 40, 41. 



OTHER SCULPTORS BORN BEFORE 1830 189 

for support. We are told that he produced in rapid succession busts 
of John A. Andrew, Ralph Waldo Emerson (now owned by Harvard 
University), Michael Angelo, and the elder Booth, who, with his son 
Edwin, was an intimate friend of the sculptor. His colossal heads 
of " Christ " and " Satan " were exhibited in the Boston Athenaeum 
in 1S63, but were afterward removed to Mr. Gould's studio in Flor- 
ence. Jarves pronounced the " Christ," as an opposing conception 
to that of " Satan," to be " one of the finest felt and conceived ideal- 
isms in modern sculpture." : 

In 1 868 Mr. Gould removed with his family to Florence, where 
he modelled the following year his statue of the " West Wind " 
(Fig. 26), probably his most celebrated work. This figure was repro- 
duced several times in marble, and became especially prominent in 
1874 through a charge that it was, with the exception of the drapery, 
a reproduction of Canova's " Hebe," the garment being attributed 
to an Italian modeller. It is pleasant to learn that while " ani- 
mated newspaper correspondence followed the charge, it was proved 
groundless." 

It would have been to the advantage of the ambitious amateur if 
he had followed more closely so graceful a model, for although 
adjudged worthy of admittance to the Centennial Exposition, the 
" West Wind " lacks that beauty which would give it permanent 
value. The thought, though slight, is pretty enough, and had it 
found a true sculptural expression, might have been well worth while. 
But this is begging the question. It is the same as saying that if 
the " West Wind " had been done by a real sculptor, it might have 
been beautiful, as it certainly would have been different. Mr. Gould, 
although so poetic in nature and delighting as he did in the processes 
of the art, was no sculptor, and never showed the sculptor's approach 
to any subject. Instead of seizing instinctively upon " the strongest 
and most statuesque aspect of a theme," he demonstrates in every 
line of this childish work his utter inability to conceive an artistic 
whole. Comparing the " West Wind " with the earliest of American 
sculptures, Mr. Rush's " Nymph of the Schuylkill," or even with 
the " Jephthah's Daughter " of the obscure wood-carver of New 
Haven, the latter will be found to be far more professional and more 

1 "Art Thoughts," p. 319. 



I go THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

beautiful. Indeed, our native art offers few examples of a more 
frankly helpless treatment of the human figure than is shown in the 
front view of the " West Wind " as it stands in the Mercantile 
Library of St. Louis. From the feet on tiptoe, turned at right 
angles to each other, up to the ill-modelled head, every form of the 
stiff body betrays the weakness of an untrained hand and the groping 
of an unclarified vision. On the side toward which the face is 
turned the result is not quite so bad. The deep-cut ledges and con- 
volutions of the drapery give a certain breeziness of effect, or a 
symbol of the same, further enhanced by flying ringlets, or, more 
properly, stringlets. The face is refined in intention, and has rather 
a sweet expression, showing what the artist was trying to do. Nothing 
could be more conclusive of the authenticity of this work than the 
despairing way in which the skirt is brought abruptly to an end at 
the waist and gathered into a belt, where the sculptor has " pinned 
it with a star." No Italian assistant could ever have shown such 
ineptitude ! 

Among Mr. Gould's later works of imagination were a " Cleo- 
patra " ; a curious relief of a helmeted head, which he called the 
" Ghost in Hamlet " ; and a " Timon of Athens." In Forest Hills 
Cemetery, West Roxbury, is his " Ascending Spirit." His " Ariel " 
is in the possession of Mrs. Grossman, the daughter of Edwin Booth, 
and his " Undine" is owned by the Boston Art Club. In 1875 Mr. 
Gould produced statues of John Hancock and of Massachusetts' war 
governor, John A. Andrew ; the former being placed in the town hall 
of Lexington, Massachusetts, the latter in the cemetery at Hingham. 
He made also a colossal bronze of King Kamehameha I, which was 
erected before the government building at Honolulu, Sandwich 
Islands. His last order was for a " Puritan," a figure completed 
after his death, by his son, and now standing on Cambridge Com- 
mon near Harvard University. 

Mr. Gould died in 1881. As may be inferred, his direct contri- 
bution to significant sculpture was slight, but his culture and personal 
worth must have had their influence in raising the moral standard of 
the profession and in developing that respect with which it is viewed 
to-day by the American public. 

Richard Saltonstall Greenough, a younger brother of Horatio 




FIG. 26. — GOULD: WEST WIND, MERCANTILE LIBRARY, ST. LOUIS. 



OTHER SCULPTORS BORN BEFORE 1830 193 

Greenough, was born at Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, in 18 19, and 
practised his art in Paris at the beginning of his professional career. 
Mr. Greenough returned to the United States and lived for several 
years in Newport, Rhode Island, during which time he produced a 
number of works in bronze and marble. In 1847 he again went 
abroad to spend the remainder of his life in Europe. Among his 
works are a statue of Franklin, in the City Hall Square of Boston; 
the " Boy and Eagle," owned by the Boston Athenaeum ; a " Cartha- 
ginian Woman," " Cupid on a Tortoise," " Elaine," " Circe," and a 
" Psyche," which he erected as a monument to his wife in the ceme- 
tery at Rome, Italy. He was said to be " particularly successful as 
a sculptor of portrait busts " ; but these must be in private hands, 
since they do not appear in the catalogues nor galleries of the art 
museums of the East. 

Mr. Greenough's " Boy and Eagle," in the Boston Athenaeum, is 
fairly well modelled, and has a certain picturesque value. It is suffi- 
ciently spirited to arrest the attention, though it can hardly be pro- 
nounced interesting. The exigencies of sculpture have compelled 
the artist to reduce the eagle to " portable " size. The youth is 
making gentle effort to release himself from the winged incubus 
which has settled upon his back. The hawk-like bird is hard to get 
at, and our sympathies might be mildly aroused were we sure that 
the boy cared very much himself. He never extorts from one the 
cry, " Oh, the poor man ! " as did Puget's " Milo of Crotona " from 
the emotional Maria Theresa. It must be acknowledged that some 
of Richard Greenough's portrait statues are more likely to call forth 
such an exclamation. 

His " Franklin," executed in Boston in 1855, stands in front of 
the City Hall, and appears to the casual observer a very common- 
place work. The bronze reliefs which decorate the pedestal picture 
events in the life of the philosopher; two of them were modelled by 
Thomas Ball. Mr. Greenough's better known " Governor Win- 
throp " (Fig. 27) stands in Scollay Square, Boston, and a replica in 
marble (dated 1876) is to be found among the effigies in the sculp- 
ture gallery of the national Capitol. It is not a spirited work, 
although in technical merits it is above the average of its time. 
The figure advances with a good stride on carefully drawn legs, and 
o 



I 9 4 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

the disposition of the arms is happy and sculpturally massive. The 
hands in particular are well placed and well modelled, the right hold- 
ing the charter and great seal, the left clasping a book, probably the 
Bible, to the breast. But here the excellences of the work seem to 
end abruptly; they are, indeed, quite lost sight of in the weakness 
of the total effect, a result of the characterless head which emerges 
as an anticlimax from the enormous ruff of the period. The drapery 
has no great amount of color, but it is respectable, with a good 
enough figure underneath, and one finds on covering up the pathetic 
face that the statue has possibilities. Between the black and the 
white versions there is little to choose, however, in the matter of 
virility. They vie with each other in their self-depreciation, in their 
appeal to our sympathy. The fact is that so mild mannered an 
individual would scarcely presume to stand upon his feet and to 
walk like a man. It is gratifying, therefore, to discover the same 
subject represented in marble at Mount Auburn in a seated pose. 
Like the preceding, this statue has much better drawing and model- 
ling than we are at first inclined to give it credit for, since the atti- 
tude is that of hopeless dejection, and the expression of the face is 
in perfect harmony therewith. Indeed, the wan, wistful countenance, 
the hands clasped on the left knee, and the round shoulders suggest 
nothing so much as a world-weary schoolboy, the scapegoat of the 
class, ever prepared for the worst, and even now leaning forward 
in resigned expectation of the rod of the oppressor. 

After such an impression one is surprised to find in the Boston 
Museum of Fine Arts an interesting and almost spirited figure from 
the same hands, the " Carthaginian Girl," a marble of about three- 
fourths life-size. It represents one of the fair defenders of the 
doomed city, cutting her long hair, presumably for bowstrings. 
While it is not very well modelled, the arms in particular being 
strangely round, the pose is a felicitous one and the general effect 
good. The expression, too, is rather noble and pathetic. The 
figure comes near being attractive and even distinguished. 

Edward Sheffield Bartholomew was born at Colchester, Connect- 
icut, in 1822. His life was most closely associated, however, with 
Hartford, where his " Eve " is the most important work of sculpture 
in the Wadsworth Athenaeum. It is almost good sculpture, judged 



OTHER SCULPTORS BORN BEFORE 1830 195 

even by the stricter canons of to-day. This figure is massive, is 
sculpturally conceived, and from some views is not only expressive, 
but really fine. The head droops despairingly, the hands lie idle in 
the lap. The inclination of the head, it must be acknowledged, is 
not quite fortunate; it gives the figure a look of uneasy equilibrium, 
which from certain points is weak rather than tragic. But the pro- 
portions are admirable, and parts, like the full knees, show more 
fleshy modelling than we have seen before in our chronological prog- 
ress. The arms are full and handsome, though in construction and 
elaboration not quite up to the requirements of modern taste. The 
feet have the conventional roundness of their kind ; but there is a 
suspicion of bones in the toes — a new feature. In the face the 
artist is only too faithful to the tradition of Powers and all the other 
compelling influences of the time. It is not devoid of expression, 
but one feels that the expression is only a formula for grief, and that 
there is no personality here — nothing that could possibly awaken 
sympathy. 

The abundant hair is string-like and not cleverly carved. After 
the fashion of the day, and of Italian carvers in general, these 
deficiencies were supposably atoned for by the emphasis and polish 
expended upon other details which we prefer to see merely sug- 
gested. The fateful apple lies upon the ground, where it may not 
be overlooked. A tiny bite made by even incisors is turned con- 
spicuously to the front, giving a touch of realism, an accuracy of 
circumstantial evidence which detracts from the poetic power of the 
misty old legend. The serpent's head appears under an elaborate 
tuft of leaves which he seems to wear like an absurd little bonnet. 
Beyond he winds his sinuous length around the masonry-like rock, 
a marvel of scaly finish. Ivy and other plants are seen here and 
there, cleverly carved, but so scattered, so precise, and of so many 
kinds as to be bewildering. 

Hawthorne was not in an appreciative mood the day that he saw 
this figure in Rome, as the following testifies : " We have likewise 

been to Mr. B 's studio, where we saw several pretty statues and 

busts, and among them an ' Eve,' with her wreath of fig leaves lying 
across her poor nudity ; comely in some points, but with a frightful 
volume of thighs and calves. I do not see the necessity of ever 



196 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

sculpturing another nakedness. Man is no longer a naked animal ; 
his clothes are as natural to him as his skin, and sculptors have no 
more right to undress him than to flay him." ' 

Eight little reliefs inserted in the octagonal pedestal of this 
statue of " Eve " give intimate glimpses of the primitive home circle. 
The figures are almost in the round. Some are rather awkwardly 
handled, others are exceedingly graceful. The total effect is deco- 
rative, the very naivete of the treatment having its special appeal. 
One feels enthusiasm in every touch, and behind it the inspiration 
of some potent master like Delia Ouercia. It should be recalled 
that figure and reliefs alike were carved after the sculptor's death, 
and doubtless lack much that he would have given them. 

In the same building are other works of Bartholomew. A rather 
conventional " Sappho " rests her right arm on a convenient post, and 
holds her lyre and wreath in the left hand. This figure, being in 
marble, occupies a position of honor in the reading room of the 
library ; while a plaster " Genius of Connecticut," of far more engag- 
ing charms, is set away under the backstairs. The latter is an ami- 
able-looking girl with pretty face and fluttering curls, seated upon a 
bale of merchandise placed in turn on blocks, apparently to keep it 
dry ; her plump feet are kissed by the surging waves. She holds 
a flag patiently and looks gently heroic. Neither modelling nor 
drapery is at all bad, but the work is cheapened by the ugly orna- 
mented base. A relief in front shows a ship sore beset upon a 
spongy sea. At the ends are dolphins and other stage properties. 

Bartholomew modelled also a graceful little " Shepherd Boy of the 
Campagna " and two statuettes of real beauty, " Morning Star " and 
" Evening Star," conceptions of genuine charm and ideality. These, 
with many others of the young sculptor's works, are pictured in a 
sympathetic article published in The Connecticut Quarterly? 

Dead at thirty-six, and for most of the short years of his pro- 
fessional life a physical wreck, this indomitable man carved for him- 
self a permanent if modest place in the history of American sculpture. 
Without question he was fired with the divine spark. One can but 
ask what such energy might not have accomplished had strength 
and fit schooling and long life been vouchsafed. 

1 " Italian Note-Book," Vol I. p. 179. " Vol. II, No. 3. 




FIG. 27. — R. S. GREENOUGH: GOVERNOR WINTHROP, WASHINGTON. 



OTHER SCULPTORS BORN BEFORE 1830 199 

Another whose light failed early was Benjamin Akers — Paul 
Akers he was generally called, and there is a pretty tradition that 
the nickname was once Saint Paul, given him because of his pious 
character. His brief career almost exactly parallels that of his 
brother sculptor, Bartholomew; he was born in Maine in 1825, three 
years later than Bartholomew, and died in Philadelphia in 1861, at 
the age of thirty-five. The most noticeable feature of his childhood 
was his affection for his forest home and his loneliness when sent 
away to a school in Norwich, Connecticut. It is said that his earliest 
impressions of art were gained during this period of banishment by 
sight of a plaster cast in the house of a certain Francis Finnegan. 
We are told elsewhere, however, that it was a glimpse of Chantrey's 
" Washington "in the Massachusetts State House which first thrilled 
his genius into consciousness. It was in Boston, at any rate, that he 
subsequently (1849) learned the art of plaster-casting from one Joseph 
Carew, after having tried his hand at printing and various other pro- 
fessions, including painting. Naturally, the first step in his art edu- 
cation was to open a studio and practise on his sitters : such seems 
to have been the custom of the time. This he did in Portland, in 
association with a painter named Tilton. Busts of Longfellow, 
Samuel Appleton of Boston, Professor Cleavelancl, and others gave 
him reputation and the means for going abroad, which he was able 
to do in 1 85 2, spending a year in study in Florence. Upon his 
return he modelled his first figure, " Benjamin in Egypt," which 
was lost in the destruction by fire of the Portland Exchange. He 
found much employment in Washington, modelling various promi- 
nent men, including Edward Everett and sturdy Sam Houston of 
Texas. Once more in Europe, in 1S54, he produced a series of 
ideal works, of which his " Una and the Lion," " Isaiah," " Diana and 
Endymion," " Saint Elizabeth of Hungary," and the " Pearl Diver," 
a beautiful figure of a drowned youth, enjoyed the greatest fame. 
This latter work, as well as the same artist's fine bust of Milton, 
was appropriated by Hawthorne, together with Story's " Cleopatra," 
for the furnishing of the sculptor Kenyon's imaginary studio in 
" The Marble Faun." 1 

1 The reader will find further details of this singularly pure and attractive character in 
the last pages of Tuckerman's " Book of the Artists." 



200 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

A group in the Metropolitan Museum, signed "J. A. Jackson, 
1867," represents " Eve finding Abel," and gives a first impression 
of being excellent work. The composition is good, though not 
notably original, since one recognizes in it the familiar arrangement 
of many Pietas : " The mother bending with grief and wonder over 
the figure which rests upon her knee." A closer examination shows 
that there is no real mastery here, the modelling being thin and 
tiresome — strangely lean, indeed, as though the horror of the 
moment had been long anticipated. The expression of the mother 
is disagreeably overdone, reminding one of Story's sinister heroines. 
The work is creditable, however, as a whole, being a serious attempt 
in the right direction, and produces a striking effect from a distance. 
A bust of Wendell Phillips in the Boston Athenaeum, and another of 
Dr. G. W. Bethune in the Sage Library at New Brunswick, New 
Jersey, cannot be so highly commended, since from all distances 
and all directions they show themselves to be rather weak work. 

John Adams Jackson was born at Bath, Maine, in 1825. Ap- 
prenticed early to a merchant of Boston, he gradually discovered his 
aptitude for art and studied drawing, supporting, himself by por- 
traiture in crayon and in sculpture. He received instruction for a 
time in Paris under Suisse, and later opened a studio in New York. 
There is something not fully explained in the statement that " he 
was sent to Italy, commissioned to execute a statue of Dr. Kane, 
the Arctic explorer; but failing to carry out this commission at the 
time, found himself without means to return to America, and conse- 
quently remained abroad, fixing his residence at Florence." 

The product of this enforced exile was the " Eve finding Abel," 
above mentioned. He made a number of busts and many statuettes 
with fanciful names ; a medallion entitled " Morning Glory " was 
reproduced fourteen times, and his statue " Musidora " was exhibited 
at the Vienna Exposition in 1873. A Soldiers' Monument at Lynn, 
Massachusetts, is also his work. He died at Pracchia, Tuscany, in 
1879. 

Mention may be made also of Edwin E. Brackett, who was born 
in Maine, in 18 19. This early sculptor began his professional career 
in 1S38 and is remembered for his portrait busts of Bryant, Long- 
fellow, Allston, Sumner, Choate, Butler, John Brown, Garrison, Wen- 



OTHER SCULPTORS BORN BEFORE 1830 201 

dell Phillips, and others. His group " The Shipwrecked Mother," is 
in Mount Auburn Cemetery. Even Jarves found something kind to 
say of Brackett's portraiture, praising extravagantly a certain work. 

" Brackett's bust of Brown (owned by Mrs. G. Stearns of Med- 
ford), exhibiting with Olympian breadth of sentiment the intense 
moral heroism of the reformer, is an American type of Jove ; one of 
those rare surprises in art, irrespective of technical finish or perfec- 
tion in modelling, which shows in what high degree the artist was 
impressed by the soul of his sitter." 

Leonard Volk, long time the only sculptor in Chicago, was born 
at Wellstown, New York, Nov. 7, 1828. From a notice printed at 
the time of his death, August, 1895, we learn that: — 

" He was given little schooling, and at the age of sixteen learned 
the trade of marble-cutting with his father. As he grew older he 
determined to become a sculptor. He therefore moved to St. Louis 
and opened a modest little studio. It was a raw, western town, 
where statuary was not so much appreciated as cattle herds, and corn, 
and he had many obstacles to overcome. Among his first produc- 
tions was a bust in marble of Henry Clay, a copy from Hart's bust. 
Not long after this he was visited by Stephen A. Douglas, who was 
so pleased with the young sculptor's work that he offered to defray 
his expenses for a trip to Rome to study art. Accordingly, Mr. 
Volk, leaving his wife and child in the Massachusetts home of his 
parents, got out and devoted himself assiduously to the study of his 
art for a year and a half. 

" In June, 1857, he came to Chicago and opened a studio in Clark 
Street, opposite the Sherman House, and almost immediately he 
became identified with every art movement of the city. He was one 
of the prime movers in the first exhibition of fine arts held in that 
city in 1859. Later he assisted in founding the Academy of Design 
in Chicago, of which early institution he was for eight years the 
president. Mr. Volk made two other visits to Europe to study, and 
in 1872 he ordered, at Geneva, the first shipment of Carrara marble 
ever made direct to Chicago." 

Among Mr. Volk's more important works are the Douglas Monu- 
ment in Chicago ; a bust of President Lincoln, exhibited at Paris in 
1867; statues of Lincoln and Douglas, in the Illinois State House, 



202 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

executed from life studies ; the statuary on the Soldiers' Monument 
for Erie County, New York, the first monument of the kind 
erected in this country; the Soldiers' Monument, with statues, at Rock 
Island, Illinois ; and in the last year of his life another military 
memorial at Rochester, New York. His last work was a bronze 
figure of General Shields, presented by Illinois to the National 
Hall of Statuary at Washington. 

Mr. Volk's contribution, aside from his efforts for art education 
in Chicago, was in the form of faithful portraiture. His "Faith" 
and " lone," like the four seated figures around the Douglas Monu- 
ment, could hardly have been considered great sculpture even in their 
time; but among his portrait busts of Elihu B. Washburne, David 
Davis, Zachariah Chandler, J. H. McVicker, and many others of 
prominence are to be found a number of strong types conscientiously 
portrayed. If without poetic grace, they are at least sturdily authen- 
tic, and therefore of great interest to succeeding generations. His 
bust of Lincoln is simple and dignified, while his statue in the Capitol 
at Springfield shows, though in a rather cramped fashion, the ar- 
rangement so successfully used by Saint Gaudens many years later, 
the figure of the President standing in front of the " chair of state." 
It is probable that Mr. Volk was the only sculptor privileged to 
model the features of Lincoln from life. His life mask and casts of 
the hands have been reproduced often, and were, of course, invalu- 
able to later sculptors. 



CHAPTER XI 

HARRIET HOSMER AND THE EARLY WOMEN SCULPTORS 

One of the surviving " classicists," a product of the old-time 
Roman school, is Miss Harriet Hosmer, who is doubtless the most 
famous of American women sculptors. Her picturesque personality, 
as well as her artistic achievement, commands notice. The following 
account of her early life is almost in her own words. 

Born in Watertown, Massachusetts, Oct. 6, 1830, the daugh- 
ter of a physician, " she inherited a delicate constitution from her 
mother, who died of consumption ; and her father encouraged her to 
follow a course of physical exercise such as boys only, at that period, 
were accustomed to take. She became expert in rowing, riding, 
skating, and shooting ; developed powers of great endurance ; scan- 
dalized the neighbors by climbing trees whenever birds' nests 
tempted her; filled her room, boylike, with snakes, insects, and 
other specimens of natural history, which she dissected or preserved ; 
and, in a clay pit in her father's garden, modelled figures of animals. 
Her first instructor was a Mr. Peabody, brother-in-law of Nathaniel 
Hawthorne, who found it impossible to teach by his conventional 
methods the undisciplined child, and, in despair, returned her to her 
father. Mrs. Sedgwick, who had a school for young ladies at 
Lenox, was noted for her success in difficult cases of this kind. 
Harriet was placed under her care, which was exercised with such 
tact that the child's breezy, independent nature was disciplined 
almost unconsciously, and the teacher gained the love and confi- 
dence of the pupil. Three years were spent at Lenox, and then 
Miss Hosmer went to Boston to study drawing and modelling under 
an artist, Mr. Stephenson. Her sex debarred her from entering the 
Boston Medical School, whose course in anatomy she was anxious 
to take ; and hearing that the medical college in St. Louis would 

203 



204 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

admit her, she removed to that city. She made her home in the 
family of Wayman Crow, father of one of her old school friends, and 
from that gentleman she received her first order of a statue from 
Rome. Professor McDowell, of the Medical School, under whom 
the sculptors Powers and Clevenger had studied anatomy, was par- 
ticularly kind to Miss Hosmer ; and, in return, she made a medallion 
portrait of him after a bust by Clevenger." 

After a very independent trip alone up and down the Mississippi, 
the young sculptor returned to her home, where she practised mod- 
elling and marble-cutting until the autumn of 1852, when with her 
father and Charlotte Cushman she took passage for Italy. In 
Rome she became the pupil of the English sculptor Gibson, with 
whom she remained for seven years. Her first works were ideal 
heads, " Daphne " and " Medusa," which were exhibited in Boston in 
1853. In 1855 she had completed the commission given her by Mr. 
Crow, sending him her first life-size figure, " ^Enone," the shepherd- 
wife whom Paris deserted for Helen, a marble which is now in the St. 
Louis Museum of Fine Arts. This is a well-conceived figure, grace- 
fully seated and vigorously turned. If the modelling were as good 
as the pose, it would be an excellent work. The handling is not 
powerful, however, and the mournful face is uninteresting. The 
success of this first attempt brought immediate response, and in 
1S57 Miss Hosmer's "Beatrice Cenci " (Fig. 28) was ready for its 
destination in the Mercantile Library of St. Louis. It can hardly be 
claimed that this is a great work, but it has much grace, and its 
beauty is of a very intelligible kind. The pose is an expressive one, 
the fair prisoner being shown asleep on her hard couch, lying on her 
side with the upper part of the body turned so that the bosom rests 
on the pallet. The head is pillowed on the right arm, while the left, 
which is bare like the shoulder, has fallen, the hand resting on the 
floor and holding lightly a polished rosary. The right knee conies 
forward, and the long line of the back and of the left leg, which 
extends to the floor, is admirable ; it could scarcely be improved. 
The figure is as well modelled as it is composed, and the carving 
of the drapery is very refined. The accessories are annoyingly pro- 
nounced ; the pillow, the beads, the large ring in the stone slab, and 
the dainty slipper, all being too sharp and insistent for modern taste, 



HARRIET HOSMER AND THE EARLY WOMEN SCULPTORS 205 

but the conception, and in the main the execution, could hardly have 
been surpassed in the Roman colony of the fifties. This figure was 
exhibited in London and later in several cities of the United States. 
Miss Hosmer's next effort was the celebrated " Puck," a work of 
slight importance excepting for the fact that it had an immense 
vogue and that the marble-cutters were kept busy night and day, so 
to speak, turning out replicas. Thirty of these were made, and the 
conscientious historians inform us that the profits amounted to 




Fig. 28. — Hosmer: Beatrice Cenci, Mercantile Library, St. Loris. 

$30,000. It is an amusing little figure, with pretty, roguish face. 
The short, puffy legs are drawn up on a large toadstool, and one 
hand holds a beetle while the other grasps a lizard. A pair of 
batlike wings supplement the figure ; the ground is strewn with 
mushrooms of various species and well-defined characteristics. A 
companion piece, " Will-o'-the-Wisp," followed " Puck." 

In the winter of 1857-1858, Miss Hosmer executed a figure 
reclining on a sarcophagus, a portrait of the beautiful daughter of a 
Madame Falconet, an English Catholic lady resident in Rome, and 



206 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

this work was set up as a monument in the Church of S. Andrea 
delle Fratte. This was the winter that Nathaniel Hawthorne 
passed in Rome, and he has left us in his " Italian Notes " a vivid 
picture of the sculptor. He does not seem to have been profoundly 
impressed by her work on his first visit, but evidently found the little 
lady herself most interesting. He writes : — 

"To-day we took R , and went to see Miss , and as 

her studio seems to be mixed up with Gibson's, we had an opportu- 
nity of glancing at some of his beautiful works. We saw a ' Venus ' 
and a ' Cupid,' both of them tinted ; and side by side with them other 
statues identical with these, except that the marble was left in its pure 

whiteness. We found Miss in a little upper room. She has 

a small, brisk, wide-awake figure, not ungraceful ; frank, simple, 
straightforward, and downright. She had on a robe, I think, but 
I did not look so low, my attention being chiefly drawn to a sort 
of man's sack of purple or plum-colored broadcloth, into the side 
pockets of which her hands were thrust as she came forward to greet 
us. She withdrew one hand, however, and cordially presented it to 
my wife (whom she already knew) and to myself, without waiting 
for an introduction. She had on a shirt-front, collar, and cravat like 
a man's, with a brooch of Etruscan gold, and on her curly head was 
a picturesque little cap of black velvet, and her face was as bright and 
merry, and as small of feature as a child's. It looked in one aspect 
youthful, and yet there was something worn in it, too. There never 
was anything so jaunty as her movement and action ; she was very 
peculiar, but she seemed to be her actual self, and nothing affected 
or made up ; so that, for my part, I gave her full leave to wear what 
may suit her best, and to behave as her inner woman prompts. I 
don't quite see, however, what she is to do when she grows older, for 
the decorum of age will not be consistent with a costume that looks 
pretty and excusable enough in a young woman. 

" Miss led us into a part of the extensive studio, or collection 

of studios, where some of her own works were to be seen : ' Beatrice 
Cenci,' which did not very greatly impress me ; and a monumental 
design, a female figure, — wholly draped, even to the stockings and 
shoes, — in a quiet sleep. I liked this last. There was also a 
' Puck,' doubtless full of fun ; but I had hardly time to glance at it. 



HARRIET HOSMER AND THE EARLY WOMEN SCULPTORS 207 

Miss evidently has good gifts in her profession, and doubt- 
less she derives great advantage from her close association with a 
consummate artist like Gibson ; nor yet does his influence seem to 
interfere with the originality of her own conceptions. In one way, 
at least, she can hardly fail to profit, — that is, by the opportunity of 
showing her works to the throngs of people who go to see Gibson's 
own; and these are just such people as an artist would most desire 
to meet, and might never see in a lifetime, if left to himself. I shook 
hands with this frank and pleasant little person, and took leave, not 
without purpose of seeing her again." ' 

During a visit to America Miss Hosmer conceived the idea of a 
figure of Zenobia, queen of Palmyra (Fig. 29), led captive through 
the streets of Rome, and modelled this celebrated statue in 1S59, at 
which time Hawthorne saw the work in progress and wrote of it : — 

" March 1 5th. — This morning, I went with my wife and Miss Hoar 
to Miss Hosmer's studio, to see her statue of ' Zenobia.' . . . There 
were but very few things in the room : two or three plaster busts, 
a headless cast of a plaster statue, and a cast of the ' Minerva Medica,' 
which perhaps she had been studying as a help towards the design 
of her ' Zenobia ' ; for, at any rate, I seemed to discern a resemblance 
or analogy between the two. ' Zenobia ' stood in the centre of the 
room, as yet unfinished in the clay, but a very noble and remarkable 
statue indeed, full of dignity and beauty. It is wonderful that so 
brisk a woman could have achieved a work so quietly impressive ; 
and there is something in ' Zenobia's ' air that conveys the idea of 
music, uproar, and a great throng all about her ; whilst she walks in 
the midst of it, self-sustained and kept in a sort of sanctity by her 
native pride. The idea of motion is attained with great success ; 
you not only perceive that she is walking, but know at just what 
tranquil pace she steps amid the music of the triumph. The drapery 
is very fine and full; she is decked with ornaments; but the chains 
of her captivity hang from wrist to wrist; and her deportment — in- 
dicating a soul so much above her misfortune, yet not insensible to 
the weight of it — makes these chains a richer decoration than all 
her other jewels. I know not whether there be some magic in the 
present imperfect finish of the statue, or in the material of clay, as 

1 -'Italian Note-Book," Vol. I, pp. 156-158. 



20S THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

being a better medium of expression than even marble ; but certainly 
I have seldom been more impressed by a piece of modern sculpture. 
Miss Hosmer showed us photographs of her ' Puck ' — which I have 
seen in the marble — and likewise of the ' Will-o'-the-Wisp,' both 
very pretty and fanciful. It indicates much variety of power that 
' Zenobia ' should be the sister of these, which would seem the more 
natural offspring of her quick and vivid character. But ' Zenobia ' is 
a high, heroic ode." ' 

We begin to understand! This figure was still unfinished and 
in the clay — plastic, palpitant, and full of promise. The tools of 
the pitiless Italian carver had not yet done their work of sharp- 
ening and polishing the life out of it. The artist's first thought 
was still there — a very noble and dignified thought, by the way, 
though not necessarily a sculptural one, — and the enthusiastic little 
woman was alongside to supplement the impression ; to tell what 
she meant to say in the work. No wonder that Hawthorne read in 
its sketchy lines all that she desired ! No wonder that he was con- 
vinced that his thought was her own, and that he had found it in the 
haughty captive on the modelling stand ! And besides, he liked the 
name of Zenobia. It is possible that another carver, one in himself 
an artist, could so render this figure that it might convey to us the 
impression of " a high, heroic ode." As it stands to-day there is not 
one grateful touch, not one suggestion of half-tone and tenderness of 
chiselling — nothing but ridges and grooves, a lay figure draped to 
display an antique garb. 

In i860 Miss Hosmer was summoned home by the illness of her 
father, and while in this country received a commission from 
St. Louis for a bronze statue of Thomas H. Benton, which was 
modelled the following year. It was not, however, until 1S6S that 
this extraordinary figure was unveiled in Lafayette Park. It has 
from a distance the dignity of great bulk. Nearer approach reveals 
a strange, old-fashioned conception, reminding one vaguely of some 
effigy in Westminster Abbey. Not only is the bent figure enveloped 
from head to feet in a cloak, but this garment is most perplexingly 
complicated. The guessed-at body is lost in curious and unaccount- 
able swathings from which the extremities protrude ; hands swollen 

1 " Italian Note-Book, v Vol. II. p. 229. 




FIG. 29.— HOSMER: ZENOBIA, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM. 



HARRIET HOSMER AND THE EARLY WOMEN SCULPTORS 211 

and shapeless, and a remorseful face. At the back, however, all is 
peace, and the drapery is of the time-honored organ-pipe pattern, 
in perfectly straight vertical lines. One's thought in looking at the 
" Benton " is that it must have been very easy to do statues in 
those days. 

In 1865 Miss Hosmer exhibited at the Dublin Exhibition her 
" Sleeping Faun," which was seen also at the Paris Exposition of 
1867. Among other works mentioned by her biographers are a 
" Waking Faun " ; bronze gates for the Earl of Brownlow's art 
gallery at Ashridge Hall ; a Siren Fountain for Lady Marion 
Alford ; a fountain representing Hylos and the nymphs ; a statue 
of Abraham Lincoln ; one of the queen of Naples, and another of 
Queen Isabella, for the Columbian Exposition at Chicago. 

There were some other women sculptors who did work before 
the Centennial Exposition, — Emma Stebbins, Margaret Foley, 
Edmonia Lewis, Vinnie Ream, Blanche Nevin, and Elizabet Ney. 
As with the men, there is a certain similarity in the stories of most 
of these lives. We read of an early dabbling in art, then the thrill- 
ing experience of " finding one's self," followed by feverish study, 
and later a trip to Italy. After this a succession of " masterpieces." 

Miss Stebbins, who was born in 18 15 and died in 1882, took up 
the study of sculpture at the age of forty-two. She had previously 
drawn and painted for her own amusement, but upon visiting Rome 
in 1857 she was irresistibly attracted by the artist life and its repre- 
sentatives, — Miss Hosmer, Charlotte Cushman, and others. She 
studied sculpture with Akers and other teachers, and produced a 
number of works: the boy " Joseph " ; a bust of her friend Charlotte 
Cushman; a statue of Horace Mann (i860), now in Boston ; one of 
Columbus, — highly praised in its day, but since lost to sight, — and 
a figure for a fountain, representing the " Angel of the Waters," 
which is now in Central Park, New York. 

Miss Margaret Foley, of Vermont, exhibited at the Centennial 
Exposition a fountain, which was effectively placed in the Horti- 
cultural Hall. The basin was of graceful design, made apparently 
of overlapping leaves, underneath the protection of which were the 
figures of two boys and a girl at play. Miss Foley was represented 
also by busts of the " Prophet Jeremiah " and of " Cleopatra," the 



212 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

former colossal in size. Among her other works mention may be 
made of a bust of Charles Sumner, which, according to Tuckerman, 
was " unsurpassable and beyond praise," and of bas-reliefs of Long- 
fellow, Bryant, and other poets. 

Edmonia Lewis, a young woman of mixed Indian and African 
descent, won great fame for a time by a strange and rather repellant 
statue of the dying " Cleopatra," which she made in Rome and exhib- 
ited at the Centennial and later in various cities. Ten or twelve 
years before this she had attracted attention by a bust of Colonel 
Shaw, which was first exhibited at the fair held in Boston during the 
progress of the Civil War, for the Soldiers' Relief Fund. Her second 
work was the " Freedwoman," who was " represented as overcome 
by a conflict of emotions on receiving the tidings of her liberation." 
Then, after a long silence, appeared the " Cleopatra," since which 
time nothing more has been heard from this sculptor. 

It was the misfortune of Miss Vinnie Ream (now Mrs. Hoxie) to 
receive from Congress, at the age of fifteen, and after a single year's 
study, an order for a marble statue of Lincoln. This she executed, 
and it stands to-day in the rotunda of the national Capitol, a monu- 
ment to the gallantry of our statesmen. Not content with one such 
exhibition of its own ignorance, Congress ordered later, from the 
same untrained hands, a heroic statue of Farragut for the decoration 
of Farragut Square, Washington. Miss Ream made also figures 
called " Miriam," " The West," and " The Spirit of the Carnival," and 
busts of various prominent personages. This unique representative 
of the sculptor's art was born at Madison, Wisconsin, in 1847, and 
was undoubtedly as gifted as she was attractive. With proper 
training and sufficient continuity of purpose, she might have won 
something more substantial than notoriety. The " Lincoln " is extraor- 
dinary work for a child, and is really a far more dignified portrait 
than many of its neighbors in the National Hall of Statuary. It is 
neither grotesque in expression nor absurd in gesture. The bowed 
head gives it from a distance a serious and thoughtful air. Closer 
examination reveals an absence of body within the garments, but 
this oversight is concealed, from certain points of view, by an abun- 
dance of somewhat irrelevant draper}'. One feels that the girl 
sculptor approached her subject with reverence, and, although 



HARRIET HOSMER AND THE EARLY WOMEN SCULPTORS 213 



her work is quite devoid of strength, it has its own melancholy 
expressiveness. 

Blanche Nevin of Philadelphia was a " most promising pupil " 
for a time. She studied at the Pennsylvania Academy under J. A. 
Bailly, and made a charming little " Cinderella " as pictured in 
Clark's " Great American Sculptures." Mention is also made of sundry 
busts and of a full-length statue of " Eve " of notable merit. One 
would gladly know more of her career, but at this point Clark's book 
ends and no other takes up the story of Miss Nevin. It is hardly a 
kindness to refer to her insignificant "General Muhlenberg" (1887) 
in the national Capitol. 

An honored name in 
the annals of culture is 
that of the venerable 
Anne Whitney of Bos- 
ton. Born in 1821, she 
might well have re- 
ceived earlier mention 
in this record were it 
not for the fact that 
sculpture was a some- 
what tardy manifesta- 
tion of her talent. She 
was some thirty-four 
years of age when, hav- 
ing already made her 
mark as a poet, she 
took up the study of 
modelling, opening in 
i860 a studio in Water- 
town, Massachusetts, her 
birthplace. She spent, 
later, four years in Europe and established herself in Boston in 1872. 
Among her works are statues of Samuel Adams, Harriet Martineau, 
Leif Ericson (Boston and Milwaukee), " Ethiopia," " Roma," and other 
subjects, portrait and ideal. The " Samuel Adams " (Fig. 30), which 
stands in marble in Statuary Hall of the national Capitol, was 




Fig. 30. — Whitney : Samuel Adams, Washington. 



214 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

executed in 1876, and represents the statesman with arms folded in 
a somewhat theatrical pose. Although no woman sculptor has suc- 
ceeded as yet in making a male figure look convincingly like a man, 
this statue has a certain feminine power and is among the interesting 
works of the collection. A replica in bronze was made in 1880 and 
erected in Boston, where from a considerable elevation it surveys the 
busy scene with much firmness of attitude and a very positive look. 

Secluded from the world in her little studio of stone, which nestles 
among the trees on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, still dwells and 
toils Elizabet Ney, one of the most interesting of characters as she is 
one of the best equipped of women sculptors. Nothing could be 
more romantic than the life history of this gifted woman, who was 
born in Westphalia, and was patronized by the " mad king," Ludwig 
1 1 of Bavaria. That art-loving monarch was so impressed by the 
young girl's talent that he gave her the use of a great hall in one of 
his palaces as a studio, and posed for a portrait statue of himself, 
which was eventually put in marble and erected on the grounds of 
Linderhof. Her portrait busts from life of Bismarck, Liebig, Hum- 
boldt, Kaulbach, Garibaldi, and many other notables were highly 
esteemed in Munich. It is interesting to find in the "Century Dic- 
tionary," under " sculptress," this quotation from Zimmern's " Scho- 
penhauer," illustrating the use of the word : " Perhaps you know the 
sculptress Ney ; if not, you have lost a great deal." Miss Ney left 
her home for political reasons, and, after a sojourn in the Madeira 
Islands, settled in Texas soon after the close of the Civil War. 

To say that her sculpture is great, or even uniformly good, would be 
to use little discrimination. Her isolated life has not resulted in that 
growth which accompanies generous rivalry ; technic is never sus- 
tained without constant reference to the best. Some of Miss Ney's 
recent busts lack the firm construction and the intelligent simplifica- 
tions of her earlier works, while her standing figures of men are as 
unmasculine as such interpretations by women always have been; 
but whatever their deficiencies, the results never fail to be sculpture. 
There are few of our statuaries who think so distinctly and invariably 
in the terms of their art as does Miss Ney. After seeing her works 
one is convinced that it would be impossible for her to trifle with the 
marble. The purely picturesque, the literary motif, the anecdotal 



HARRIET HOSMER AND THE EARLY WOMEN SCULPTORS 215 

— these make no appeal to her. She could not conceive a subject in 
such fashion, even inadvertently. Hence her sketches and composi- 
tions are admirable, as are her virile, simply handled heads of the 
forceful sons of Texas. These busts are generally treated in the old- 
fashioned way, with bare shoulders and bosoms ; but even thus, and 
with the eyes left blank, they are strangely alive. The details of the 
features are epitomized with great discrimination and with an easy 
mastery of form which is unknown to the majority of our sculptors. 
A memorial to General Albert Sidney Johnston, for the cemetery of 
Austin, shows the dead general lying upon the litter on which he 
was carried from the field ; the flag of the Confederacy is thrown 
over the body and falls to the ground on either side. The concep- 
tion is vivid ; the touch of realism of the rude bier localizes and 
accentuates the drama, while the use of the simple drapery gives 
grace and, above all, sculptural unity — the face and hands being 
evolved, as it were, from a simple monumental mass. This is a work 
of high order, as is the promise of a sketch of Lady Macbeth, one of 
the most expressive and eminently sculptural conceptions among 
recent American ideals. 



CHAPTER XII 

JOHN OUINCY ADAMS WARD 

The period of fifteen years following the Civil War includes 
those American sculptors born between 1S30 and 1845 — the group 
whose mature activities reached its height at the time of the Centen- 
nial Exposition. The most prominent name in this list, that of 
J. O. A. Ward, is one which happily may be carried down the record 
to its last page. Among the early dead, who won distinction through 
valued work, were Launt Thompson and Martin Milmore, and that still 
more gifted artist, Olin L. Warner. Two men of promise, Howard 
Roberts and P. F. Connelly, had meteoric success, and then disap- 
peared entirely from view. Messrs. Meade, Simmons, and Ezekiel 
are the last representatives of the once powerful Italianate group of 
American sculptors ; while of those peculiarly American remaining 
with us Bissell and Hartley of New York and Kemeys of Washing- 
ton (see Chap. XXV) form the diminished but sturdy "guard of 
honor." 

As may be inferred from this list of names, a marked change has 
come over the spirit of American sculpture since the Civil War. It 
began at that time to show consciousness of the world about it, and 
to respond in some measure to the thrill, of a newly guaranteed 
national existence. Dying Centaurs and brooding Medeas gave 
way to Defenders of the Flag and personifications of the Republic. 
The tendency was everywhere toward the monumental and the 
significant, and away from the graceful but somewhat meaningless 
products of the Roman studios. Thus, while the Centennial Expo- 
sition showed no lack of inventions purely commercial, or at least 
trivial, and while they seemed at that moment to be at the height 
of their popularity, there were already signs of a peaceful revolution 
in taste. Meantime Paris had been discovered, and a few of our 

216 




PLATE VII. 
WARD: HENRY WARD BEECHER, BROOKLYN. 






b 

distinction through 

m and Martin Milmore, and that still 

i men of promise, Howard 

and P ad met then disap- 

v York and Ke 
ihed bin 

: ia age has 

. It 

and 

The the 

mial ] 

the height 
olution 

J>fOOfla ,«3H0338'GaAW YAW3H '": QflAW 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS WARD 217 

men, less fortunate in opportunity and perhaps less independent 
than Ward, sought there rather than in Italy the training which 
no school provided as yet in America. Such men were Warner 
and Roberts, who were destined to turn the whole tide of foreign 
quest toward France. 

A critic of thirty years ago wrote of Mr. Ward's " Indian 
Hunter" (Fig. 31), " It is by all odds the best and most interesting 
statue that the [Central] Park contains," and despite the progress 
of American sculpture, despite the Central Park's ever increasing 
population of bronze effigies, the assertion may be repeated with truth 
to-day. To be sure, the best sculpture of New York City is not largely 
congregated along the asphalt walks and under the generous trees 
of Central Park, but Ward's earliest statue would be good any- 
where. It would hold its own in much more exclusive company. 
Fortunate, indeed, were the Park if all of its sculptural features were 
up to the standard of this figure and of Mr. Ward's other contribu- 
tions, — the "Shakespeare," the "Seventh Regiment Soldier," and the 
" Puritan." No other sculptor has so large a representation here ; 
no other has the same right to it. For over half a century has this 
gifted man plied his art in New York City, and it is not strange that 
we find his distinguished works on every side. They will well repay 
a special pilgrimage. His remarkable characterization of Horace 
Greeley is in front of the Tribune building. A little farther on, in 
Wall Street, is the noble " Washington" which bears his signature. 
Across the river, in Brooklyn, is his most impressive monument, the 
Beecher Memorial, and his latest work is the vast pedimental decora- 
tion of the new Stock Exchange. At Newport is his " Commodore 
Perry," at Hartford his " Israel Putnam," and at Boston his " Good 
Samaritan." Washington has his Garfield monument and his 
equestrian " General Thomas," Gettysburg his " General Reynolds," 
and Spartansburg, South Carolina, his " General Morgan." Cleve- 
land, Charleston, Newburyport, and particularly Burlington, Ver- 
mont, are also fortunate in possessing important examples of his art. 
To these add scores of portrait busts, and not a few architectural 
figures and reliefs, and we have an exhibit of which any man might 
be proud. When it is recalled that Mr. Ward is old-fashioned 
enough to do his own work, and that most of these creations are 



218 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

not only the children of his brain, but the product throughout of his 
own hands, one is filled with respect for the enthusiastic consecra- 
tion of their author. All this shows what may be accomplished by 
a man of talent who takes care not to dissipate his forces. 

Mr. Ward was born in 1830, on a farm in the neighborhood of 
Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio. His parents named him John 
Ouincy Adams, and encouraged him to grow up in his own way. 
It was a good way, for in mind and body Mr. Ward is to-day, at 
seventy-three, vigorous and alert, and vastly more interesting than 
the majority of men. Indeed, one feels after a talk with him that 
the average human being is half asleep. His vivid, clean-cut char- 
acterizations, his humorous reminiscences, his whole-hearted con- 
fession of artistic faith, are stimulating to both mind and body. 

As a boy he played much, and later studied a little and worked 
more. As the seasons revolved he developed into a wiry stripling 
— thoughtful, but ever ready for fun. When there was riding or 
hunting or fishing to be done, he never faltered ; always the first 
in the field, he did his part manfully. One day they discovered 
some good pottery clay on his father's farm. Young Ward was 
inspired to take a handful of it and model the grotesque physiog- 
nomy of an old negro of the region. Such early attempts are always 
pronounced " wonderful," and this was no exception. The youth 
did not know then that he had found his vocation. It was in the 
year 1849 that he first realized what he was made for. He was 
visiting a sister in Brooklyn when he chanced to pass the open 
door of H. K. Brown's old studio. The scene within appealed to 
him with the fascination of a world of mystery. He haunted the 
spot, finally found his way inside, and in some delightful fashion, 
almost too good to believe, was, before long, enrolled among the 
great sculptor's pupils. 

Nothing more fortunate could have happened to him. As a 
critic has observed, it would have been impossible to find a better or 
more judicious master on this side of the Atlantic. With such oppor- 
tunity, then, and an immense stock of enthusiasm, the youth made 
rapid strides. He remained with Mr. Brown nearly seven years, as- 
sisting him in every part of the work from kneading clay to build- 
ing up frames for heroic statues. Thus he learned modelling, casting, 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS WARD 



219 



"pointing," marble-carving, and the chasing of bronze. He had a 
hand in everything that was done, and more than a hand in the final 
product of that period, the great equestrian " Washington " of Union 
Square, the second equestrian statue modelled in this country. 

It was during the later years of this apprenticeship that he con- 
ceived the idea of his "Indian Hunter" (Fig. 31), which he mod- 
elled first as a statuette in 1857. It was not until 1864 that he 




Fig. 31. — Ward: Indian Hunter, Central Park. 



executed it in large size, after a long trip among the Indians of the 
West and Northwest. Although he made numerous studies of the 
redmen, the value of this work is not in its ethnological accuracy, 
nor is it in its technical excellence, admirable as this evidently is ; 
it is in something more important than these qualities, something 
often disregarded to-day — the fact that the artist has succeeded in 
conveying to us his own vivid thought. He felt the litheness and 
alertness of that figure. He believed intensely in what he was doing, 



220 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

and he has made his work " believable." Clark has well said : " The 
great thing is that the sculptor has undertaken to represent a man 
engaged in a certain act which calls all of his faculties into intense 
and characteristic play, and that he has succeeded in doing so. 
Both the dog — which fairly quivers with excitement, and which is 
barely stayed by the cautionary hand of his master from rushing 
on his prey — and the Indian who advances with stealthy step, his 
eye intently fixed upon the object against which he is advancing 
and his whole being absorbed in the eagerness of his pursuit, are 
instinct with an intense vitality which suggests not merely nature, 
but nature in one of her most interesting, because most unsophisti- 
cated, moods." 1 

But, be it noted, the " Indian Hunter " in Central Park is one of 
our few public statues which are suitably placed. The same group 
in a museum would be quite another thing. There one might won- 
der whether this is a real Indian, and of what tribe, and if Indians 
wore their clothes in that way ; might compare his tense muscles 
with the suaver works of men of Parisian schooling. Such refine- 
ments of curiosity do not occur to one when he looks upon the 
original in its fortunate setting of trees and shrubs. There he is — 
a sudden apparition, low-bent amid the foliage. His copper glow, 
his preoccupation, his silence, make the illusion complete. It is a 
glimpse of a forgotten past evoked by the skill of a master. How 
much this initial work meant to the young sculptor, how much of 
himself he put into it, is evident when Mr. Ward talks of it to-day. 
His eyes gleam; he illustrates the expression — the gliding, agile 
step. He is as convincing as is his statue. When asked what is 
his favorite field of work, he always reverts to these themes of 
nature and of freedom, and mourns cheerily that he was not 
permitted to continue in that direction. 

Another product of those days which seem to us so remote, a 
true product of the time, — and Mr. Ward has always lived in his 
own time, — was the " Freedman." This statuette, which appeared 
in 1S65, is as notable for its containment as for its more technical 
excellences. Mr. Sturgis has pointed out that in this respect it 
is " curiously characteristic of the man and his whole future way of 

1 " Great American Sculptures," p. 115. 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS WARD 221 

work ; for while expressing the idea of the slave who has broken his 
fetters, it represents simply a negro in an entirely natural and every- 
day pose — a man who has just put forth his strength and is looking 
very quietly at the results ; while at the same time the peculiar 
characteristics of the race, as distinguished from the white man 
or the red Indian, are made prominent and form a chief subject of 
interest." ' 

Mr. Sturgis calls attention, also, to the fact that the sculptor 
has interested himself in a truly modern fashion in the physical 
peculiarities of his subject. The racial characteristics are certainly 
emphasized as they had not been previously in American sculpture. 
But while we of the present please ourselves in analyzing the little 
figure, calmly dissecting its anatomy, it had quite a different appeal 
in the days of stress and struggle which gave it birth. We read 
Mr. Jarves's contemporary comments, and wonder if we have grown 
callous: are we missing all that is best in these things? 

" A naked slave has burst his shackles, and with uplifted face 
thanks God for freedom. It symbolizes the African race of America, 
the birth of a new people within the ranks of Christian civilization. 
We have seen nothing in our sculpture more soul-lifting or more 
comprehensively eloquent." 3 

Other times have brought other problems. Little can we of a 
younger generation appreciate the emotion which was wrought into 
this souvenir of the Great Rebellion. " But they wanted to glorify 
heroes," said Mr. Ward, one day when in reminiscent mood, " and 
they were right. It was 'good-by' to ideal subjects. From that 
time to this I have never been without an order for a portrait statue 
— almost always of contemporaries." The poetry was there, never- 
theless, deep-bedded in the American nature, and it crops out con- 
stantly. The sympathy which gave birth to the " Freedman " enabled 
the sculptor to interpret Henry Ward Beecher. The spirit of the 
" Indian Hunter " reveals itself through the conventional attire of 
many an athletic form ; the boyhood days in the saddle are reflected 
in the "General Thomas"; the uprightness and dignity of the whole 
life of the sculptor leave their impress upon every portrait which he 
models. Some are greater than others, but they are men, every one 

1 Scribner's Magazine, Vol. XXXII, p. 390. 2 " Art Idea," p. 2S4. 



222 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

of them. They stand firmly on their feet and they make no weak 
gestures, no self-depreciatory remarks, no attempt to win us. " Take 
me for what I am worth," each seems to say ; " like me or let me 
alone." There is no restlessness, no anxiety ; you feel eternity in 
their attitudes, in their composure. Their faces are grave but 
serene, and one observes that there is not a vacuous countenance 
among them ; the sculptor has known how to endow each with an 
individual intelligence. 

Before the days of the " Indian Hunter" Mr. Ward had modelled 
in Washington during the sessions of Congress for two winters, and 
had visited Georgia to finish a bust of Alexander H. Stephens, begun 
in Washington. The year i860 he had spent in Ohio, but he re- 
turned to New York in 1861, where he opened a studio and began 
the series of works which have brought him fame and wealth. He 
was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design in 
1862, academician in 1863, and president in 1S74. In 1866 he exe- 
cuted the large group of " The Good Samaritan " (in the Public 
Gardens, Boston), in honor of the discovery of anaesthetics, and in 
1867 he prepared his design for the Shakespeare statue in Central 
Park, New York. 

Mr. Ward's " Shakespeare " (1870) is not a great statue, but it is 
a good one, and must have seemed an exceptionally good one in its 
day. The head is not quite satisfying, but what head of Shake- 
speare is? The simple, self-concentrated air of the figure com- 
mands our respect. We could wish the statue placed even lower 
that the suggestion of life might be more plausible. Such a posi- 
tion would give increased significance to that attitude "of a man 
deep in thought, almost pausing in a slow saunter as an idea flits 
through his brain." 

The " Pilgrim," which was ordered by the New England Society 
of New York City, soon followed, to keep company with Mr. 
Ward's other works in Central Park. This figure has been sur- 
passed more than once by its author, but it is a characteristic 
statue. A good opportunity for the study of the " Pilgrim " is 
offered in the Art Institute of Chicago, where the original plaster 
cast stands almost side by side with Mr. Saint Gaudens's " Puritan." 
The individualities of the two artists are no less pronounced than 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS WARD 223 

are the two types which they have portrayed. These figures illus- 
trate precisely the attitude of the two men toward their art. Both 
are able sculptors, yet their points of view are widely remote. Mr. 
Ward, although quite capable of rich and fluent modelling (see his 
" General Thomas "), has elected here to interpret his subject with 
much austerity of detail. So definite has been his conception, so 
adequate and convincing his presentation, that in looking at the 
figure alone one asks if the " Pilgrim " could be represented in any 
other way. It is only when one turns to the " Deacon Chapin " 
that he realizes the possibility of other conceptions and other 
methods not less convincing. 

Naturally the " Pilgrim " attracted much attention when first 
seen in 1885, and its promoters were warmly congratulated on the 
success of their effort. " It is a large and honorable achievement," 
wrote a critic at the time, " worthy of what it commemorates, and 
more than worthy of Mr. Ward's reputation and ambition as an 
artist. ... It is a simple figure, heroic in measurement, of a man 
of perhaps forty years of age. He is standing in an easy, uncon- 
strained attitude, one hand on the muzzle of an old Dutch wheel-lock 
and the other relaxed by his side. His costume is the conven- 
tional leathern jerkin of the time, loose knee-breeches, great boots 
of undressed leather, with wide down-turned tops ; a broad buckled 
girdle, with powder-horn and cartridge-cases slung from his shoul- 
der, and on his head a stiff, high-crowned, broad-brimmed hat. In 
the deep shadow of the last the face is lean, angular of outline, and 
clean shaven ; the hair close-cropped ; the mouth wide, thin-lipped 
and firmly closed ; the nose strong and large, and eyes wide open, 
intent and steadfast. The whole impression that it conveys is that 
of the spirit of the New England fashioning of a man of convictions, 
of unbounded resolution, of unswerving loyalty to his own ideals, 
and surcharged with anti-liturgy and fight." There can be no 
doubt that Mr. Ward had a firm grasp of his subject. He has not 
played with it. The method is in perfect accord with the stern, 
inflexible repression which we associate with this manner of man. 

But greater, far greater, than any of these early works are the 
subsequent triumphs of Mr. Ward's skill and incessant study. As 
already stated, these have been largely portraits of contemporaries, 



224 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

a field in which Mr. Ward is one of the masters of the day. Per- 
haps the finest of his achievements in this field is the statue of 
Henry Ward Beecher (1891) (PI. VII), which stands in front of 
the Courthouse in Brooklyn. In it Mr. Ward has inadvertently 
told us much of himself. None but a big man could have grasped 
that character; none but a strong nature could convey to others that 
impression of exuberant vitality and of conscious power. The 
great divine stands solidly upon his feet, enveloped in a heavy over- 
coat and cape, his hat in hand. The pose is superbly confident ; 
the leonine head uplifted as if in command rather than exhortation. 
One can imagine that the artist had in mind that crucial hour of 
the Liverpool address when America's fervid orator silenced a hos- 
tile audience of thousands. At either end of the oblong base Mr. 
Ward has introduced realistic figures which pay homage to the 
great man above ; a youthful negress who reverently lays a palm 
branch at his feet, and a small boy and girl who attempt to hang 
a garland of oak leaves. The use of such adventitious figures is 
often in doubtful taste, as their realism may easily be carried 
beyond the bounds of good monumental art, or even of legitimate 
sculpture ; but if they were always handled with the restraint shown 
here, one could not object. Though essentially unarchitectonic in 
conception, they have been developed with sculptural breadth and 
simplicity. The young negress in particular is most happily 
treated, both in matter of drapery and as regards the lines of the 
figure and of the clinging arms. The little ones on the opposite 
side illustrate well a combination which, though seemingly acci- 
dental, has in reality been carefully and wisely planned. The 
naturalness of pose and expression could scarcely be improved 
upon. They are close to genre; yet they are so winning and so 
closely bound to the subject through the wide, all-embracing sym- 
pathies of the man who was ever quick to respond to innocent 
childhood and to downtrodden helplessness alike, that there is an 
unusual appropriateness in their presence here. Their interpreta- 
tive value will grow as the memory of the great orator becomes 
remote. 

How consistently, one may say how inevitably, Mr. Ward has 
always been himself, and yet how ingenious he is withal in handling 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS WARD 225 

difficult subjects, is well illustrated by his " Horace Greeley" (1890). 
Mr. Sturgis states the case in temptingly quotable words : " The 
problem was, of course, to treat the odd-looking figure, the moonlike 
face with its loose fringe of white beard, the slovenly and queer ex- 
terior which attracted every one's attention in the street, in such a 
way as to preserve some sculpturesque interest ; and at the same time 
to place the figure beneath a very deep arch in a thick wall and 
backed up in the awkwardest possible way by a huge window. The 
disposition of the figure in a low arm-chair, leaning forward, holding 
a manuscript, but looking out above it as if intently considering the 
subject contained in the written paper, with rounded back, with ad- 
vanced head ; and the whole of this low and broad mass raised upon 
a high pedestal so as to be well out of the way of passers-by on the 
neighboring sidewalk — all this is managed with perfect harmony of 
result, with entire correspondence of means to end : with a result as 
fortunate as the circumstances could possibly allow." ' 

In this triumph over difficulties the sculptor has shown his 
mastery of his art, for the " Horace Greeley " is not only as " for- 
tunate as the circumstances could possibly allow," but is one of the 
notable successes of Mr. Ward's career. How great a success it is 
can scarcely be appreciated until the figure is compared with another 
version of the same subject still to be seen in New York. Although 
one of the most sculptural of all of Mr. Ward's works, the " Horace 
Greeley " may not appear so at first sight, for the reason that the 
human and personal elements are so strongly pronounced that 
we forget the statue ; the arrangement of the figure is so happily 
" accidental " that we forget the sculptor. 

There is no such danger with the Washington effigy which marks 
imposingly the spot where the first President took, in 1 789, the oath 
of office. This figure was, as has been well said, " statuesque " from 
the inception, and legitimately so. Washington, in the attitude 
which Mr. Ward has given to Greeley, would be scarcely less absurd 
than a representation of the great editor in this stately pose. The 
Father of his Country was a monumental character in more senses than 
one. The traditional gravity of his bearing lends itself to the reserve 
of sculpture, and he has fared well at the hands of those who model 

1 Scribner's Magazine, Vol. XXXII, p. 391. 
Q 



226 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

and carve. Foremost among the many interpretations, according to 
not a few good judges, including prominent members of the profes- 
sion, stands this noble figure by Mr. Ward. 

A realistic treatment of the subject was by no means desir- 
able. Houdon gave us this, combined with a mastery of curious 
skill. Mr. Ward shows us not the intimate, domestic Washington of 
Mount Vernon, nor even the actual — shall we say casual? — man seen 
by the few who stood nearest at the inaugural, but the great, legendary 
figure toward which the whole country turned in those days, and 
which the years have further consecrated, glorifying even as they 
veil. If our very friends are largely the product of our imaginations, 
how much more is a great public character but a symbol on which to 
hang the attributes of our likes or our dislikes ! We owe thanks to 
Mr. Ward for such a " symbol." This quiet, impressive figure, sup- 
ported by the fasces and enriched by the sweep of the great military 
cloak, lifts its hand in the simple gesture which betokens authority 
guided by moderation and intelligence. It has in it the essentials of 
Washington, while the peculiarities, real or imaginary, are left out. 
The statue is the greater for the well-weighed omission. 

Whether or not the " Lafayette" of Burlington, Vermont (1883), 
illustrates its subject as he appeared when he revisited this country 
in 1824-1825, no man living is prepared to say; but that it expresses 
Mr. Ward there is no doubt. He has taken a particular pleasure in 
this work, and has made it very much his own. If the " Beecher " 
shows how a man of Mr. Ward's powers grapples with modern cos- 
tume, and without evasion or palliation converts it into an artistic 
auxiliary, it is in the " Lafayette " rather than the " Washington " 
that we find him enjoying with most gusto the nearest approach to 
the nude figure which modern clothing admits of, — the close-cling- 
ing garments of a century ago. Nothing simpler than the quiet pose 
of this figure could be devised, the weight on the left leg, the right 
advanced, as is the right arm, the hand resting on the cane, while the 
left hand, brushing back the long coat, is placed lightly on the hip. 
The drawing of the leg shows through the tight pantaloon, the swing 
of the long coat contributes its part to the movement, and the statue's 
most minor details testify to the painstaking enthusiasm of its maker, 
and to his unusual gift of fitting the clothes to the person. A more 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS WARD 



227 



capable and satisfactory work than this portrait few sculptors indeed 
are able to imagine, much less create. 

In the grounds of the Capitol at Washington rises Mr. Ward's 
admirable monument to President Garfield, erected in 18S7. In the 
figures which adorn its base, Mr. Ward was permitted to indulge 
himself once more in the luxury of modelling the nude — to do some- 
thing besides portraits. To be sure, portrait statues represent much 




Fig. 32. — Ward: The Warrior, Washington. 

use of the model, at least in the case of figures as well constructed as 
are Mr. Ward's. But the sculptor generally stops just this side of 
real satisfaction. There is seldom time, and never real necessity, for 
the finer passages of form-building and form-blending, which are the 
joy of the experienced modeller. These figures of the " Warrior " 
(Fig. 32), the " Statesman," and the " Student" were conceived, how- 
ever, as nudes, for decorative purposes alone ; and if the sculptor 
finally covered two of them with garments, these externals are sub- 



228 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

ordinated to the body instead of appearing to shape it, as does the 
modern costume. The " Student " is provided with the slight but 
appropriate accessory of a sheepskin, and is so engrossed in the 
perusal of a manuscript that he is quite unconscious of his scanti- 
ness of attire. This look of concentration Mr. Ward bequeathes 
to all the children of his studio. They are ever intent, as though 
they possessed clear, active minds which refuse to vegetate. 

It can hardly be claimed that Mr. Ward was inspired in his treat- 
ment of the " Garfield." The figure is said to be an excellent likeness, 
and the pose to be characteristic ; but the interest of the monument 
is in the three figures which recline on the radiating bases below. 
The graceful " Student " is a general favorite ; but there is much 
to admire in the massive Agrippa-faced " Statesman," and yet more 
in the play of light and shade which gives surface charm to the 
powerful frame of the " Warrior," a remarkably statuesque con- 
ception. 

The city of Washington is further decorated by Mr. Ward's 
"General Thomas" (1878), an equestrian statue of the highest value 
(Fig. 33). It is not enough to say that it is the finest work of its 
kind in Washington ; it has few rivals in the country at large. It 
is the only equestrian work of Mr. Ward's which is yet in place, 
although the sculptor is engaged at the present time upon two 
others for the Smith Memorial in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. 
The " General Thomas " suffers, like so many other statues, from 
being erected upon a high pedestal, but its effect is nevertheless 
very striking. While the charm of the modelling is lost to some 
extent, the contour of horse and rider against the sky is unusually 
expressive. Here is a horse which is nervously alive, — quite as 
much so as the rampant creations of the earlier sculptors, — yet 
subordinated in every way to the rider. The sculptor has not found 
it necessary to make his steed rear and cavort; he has planted the 
four feet firmly on the ground, yet withal the horse is one of the 
most spirited in modern art. Upon him, complete master of the situ- 
ation, not even holding a tight rein, is the commanding form of the 
general. He sits easily, hat in hand, but not bowing and performing 
like Mills's misconceived " General Jackson." There is a power in 
this simplicity of pose and quietness of gesture which appeals with 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS WARD 229 

peculiar force to the Anglo-Saxon temperament. It is good art as 
well. Freedom shrieks in other lands and heroes brandish their 
swords, but such display makes little impression on us. It is not 
our language. 

It has been, then, Mr. Ward's great part to fix in enduring and 
distinguished form the ever changing apparitions about him ; to im- 
mortalize the ephemeral features of his contemporaries. Well may 
it be said of him, as of another, that his work has been " to exalt the 
present and the real ... to teach to man the nobility of his daily 
walk." That he has delighted in his task there can be no doubt. 
He, too, has known the " joy of power," which he has so well 
depicted on the face of his fine " Beecher." But one may well ask 
if the sculptor of the " Indian Hunter," of the " Freedman," and of 
the heroic figures of the Garfield monument, has not sighed now 
and then for a wider field. His very prosperity has hampered him ; 
the success of his portraits has kept him busy all these years. It was 
in 1899 that the arch for the Dewey reception in New York brought 
Mr. Ward his opportunity for a freer flight, and one so enticing that 
it was not to be neglected. To him was awarded the crowning orna- 
ment of the great arch, a gigantic "quadriga." Unlike the many 
who, having cherished a life-long ambition, find themselves in the 
end physically or mentally incapable of doing the work, Mr. Ward 
rose grandly to the occasion. No finer, no more appropriate group 
could possibly have been designed for the place than that marine 
quadriga. 

It was a time of great enthusiasm — the one supreme moment 
in the existence of the National Sculpture Society. The colossal 
monument was to be erected in an absurdly short time. Activity 
prevailed in the studios and in the great improvised workshops 
under the Madison Square Garden; but no one could surpass in 
energy the venerable president. In all that magic work he literally 
led, encouraging, spurring up laggards, and setting an example of 
kindly aggressiveness which was infectious. Not only did he exploit 
and inspire his little band during those two months of forced labor, 
but he designed and carried to completion this largest and finest 
group upon the monument, — the " Victory " in her sea chariot. The 
conception was one of extraordinary beauty. " Victory " (adapted 



230 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

from the Nike of Samothrace) stood with uplifted wreath upon the 
prow of her boat which was drawn by six sea horses. These mag- 
nificent creatures, half emerging from the foam, were like echoes of 
the sublime dream of Phidias, with the rearing steeds of the sun on 
the one hand and the affrighted coursers of Selene on the other. 
Seen from afar the group was found to have carrying power and 
to be beautiful at any distance. It had mass, balance, and uplift. 
No silhouette could be more effective than was that of the noble 
" Victory " dominating all that splendid confusion of tossing heads 
and flowing manes, of struggling Tritons and great sea waves 
churned to foam. If there was any feature of the monument which 
convincingly and insistently called for preservation, it was this 
superb work of Mr. Ward's. 

To the average man in the street it will be of no particular 
importance whether the great pediment of the New York Stock 
Exchange represents " The Balance of Trade " or " The Triumph 
of Bacchus " ; whether the central figure up there is called " Free- 
dom " or " Money," or whether it has any name at all. What does 
matter is whether the sculpture makes the building look well or 
not. If the culminating decoration really decorates, it will be keenly 
appreciated by a few ; but there will be also a vague, uneasy enjoy- 
ment on the part of many who " only know what they like." They 
will find themselves looking for this beautiful ornament each time 
they pass. For beautiful it will be, and most effective. It has been 
studied as few such problems have been in our day, and represents 
the mature power of a man of experience who knows what he wants, 
and the skill of a young man who is able to produce the result 
easily. Mr. Ward and Paul Bartlett have collaborated on this im- 
portant work, and the result is a very notable achievement. 

Mr. Ward has had the happy inspiration to make " Integrity " 
the presiding genius of the group, the keynote of the composition. 
While the sculptor rejoices in the felicity of his lines and in the bal- 
ance of light and shade of the relief, giving the while generous 
praise to the work of his associate, he does not seem to realize 
that he has here a conception as poetic as it is vital. His keen 
mind has not only found means to honor the subject, — as every 
artistic expression must, — but has seized upon the very basic truth 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS WARD 



231 



on which the elaborate structure of commerce and exchange is 
founded. 

The vast triangle to be filled is over one hundred feet in length. 
In the centre stands, with outstretched hands, the grave impersona- 
tion of business honor, a figure some fifteen feet in height, which is 
disconnected from the others excepting through the gesture. The 
figure is given volume as well as relief by means of a large mantle, 
which flutters out at some distance from the body like a great shell, 
or like the elliptical background of the Virgin in mediaeval reliefs. 
It is further supported by two cherubs that sit on the edges of the 




Fig. 33. — Ward: General Thomas, Washington. 



dais and admirably serve their purpose of " chinking." The next 
measure in this really musical composition consists of two figures 
on either side, respectively a mechanic with his assistant and a tiller 
of the ground, accompanied by a small female figure. The larger 
figures are nude and splendidly athletic. They bend toward the 
centre, bowing to the inevitable cornice, and in so doing bring fine 
masses of shadow into the composition, the one contrasted with a 
broad, glistening back, the other emphasized by the heavy sack 



232 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

borne by the farmer. This burden explains his attitude, but nothing 
excepting exigencies of space can reconcile to the disproportion 
of the male and the female figures, the latter being a fully developed 
woman, whose head would not reach her companion's shoulders 
were he erect. This is the one jarring note in the composition, and 
makes one wish that the " Dairy-Maid " had been shown as a young 
girl. The outside groups down in the low corners are likewise 
made up of two figures each: on the one side designers, and on the 
other mining prospectors. The first of these is especially happy in 
its composition. An adaptation of the Garfield " Student " is shown 
resting on his elbow and drawing upon a sheet of paper, while he 
adroitly fills that puzzlesome sharp angle with his feet. Kneeling 
toward him is his companion, who not only shows his interest in 
the work, but contributes another beautiful shadow. A sculptural 
thought, good figures capably modelled, flowing, cumulative lines, 
effective groupings, and charming contrasts of light and shade — 
these are the elements entering into this admirable relief. No less 
important are the things left out : the superfluous details of cos- 
tuming, the unintelligible piles of accessories and machinery which 
cumber most pediments. These have been swept away, or rather, 
they never entered the thought of the true artist who designed 
the decoration. If not "supremely impressive," as Mr. Sturgis pro- 
nounces it, the pediment of the New York Stock Exchange is at 
least that rare thing, a well-understood and workmanlike produc- 
tion of great artistic value. The problem has not been so ably 
approached before in this country. 

Such is the record of our oldest practising sculptor. Such are 
a few of the many dignified works which it has been his privilege 
to contribute to the general mass of good sculpture in the United 
States. It is not to be wondered at that the entire profession delight 
to do him honor. They respect in him the upright and generous 
man and the true artist. They made him president of the National 
Sculpture Society upon its incorporation in 1896, and probably will 
have no other while he lives. 

Mr. Ward is essentially a sculptor. There are many in the 
profession who are not. Some of them do good work occasionally 
in spite of themselves, but Mr. Ward is so much of a sculptor that 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS WARD 233 

he cannot do bad work — just as he is so much of a man that 
he cannot conceive trifling and unworthy things. His technic may 
lack at times that charm of surface manipulation in which his 
younger colleagues excel ; but it always shows a quiet simplicity, an 
impressiveness of mass, which is the first element in good monu- 
mental sculpture. Over-clever men are liable at times to neglect 
this, but Mr. Ward could not neglect it ; it is part of his artistic 
personality. Whatever he does is " big " and effective, even at a 
distance where detail is completely obliterated. If his figures do not 
sparkle with coquettish accents, — if they hold themselves austerely 
aloof from suspicion of the painters' methods, — theirs are the funda- 
mental virtues of a genuine sculptural conception and a structural 
evolution. Mr. Ward may be trusted to dignify whatever he touches. 



CHAPTER XIII 

A GROUP OF BUILDERS OF MONUMENTS 

The Civil War gave a great impetus to the building of public 
memorials, an industry which has gained in momentum with the 
years. As the great struggle left no hamlet without its losses, so 
the distribution of " soldiers' monuments " is widespread, and the end 
is not yet. Among the sculptors already named, Randolph Rogers 
and Leonard Volk were especially active in this field ; others of 
the same period particularly identified with it have been Thompson, 
Meade, Bissell, Simmons, and Milmore. 

Of this group none was more gifted and none more unfortunate 
than Launt Thompson, who was born at Abbeyleix, Queens County, 
Ireland, in 1S33. He came with his widowed mother to America in 
1847, an d they found a home at Albany, New York. Chance led 
the boy to the office of a certain Dr. Armsby, where he began the 
diligent study of anatomy. As an aid in his research he made 
drawings of the bones and the muscles, soon discovering a rather 
remarkable talent. An accidental meeting with Erastus D. Palmer 
turned the young man's attention to sculpture, and a place was made 
for him in the studio. He presently became a useful assistant, and 
stayed with Mr. Palmer for nine years, modelling and carving under 
the direction of the older artist — a training which was invaluable. 

In 1857 Mr. Thompson opened a studio of his own in New 
York, where he met with prompt recognition. His first ventures 
were ideal heads in relief in the style of Mr. Palmer's popular works, 
and showing a craftsmanship scarcely inferior to their prototypes. 
Soon Mr. Thompsons success with portrait busts reaffirmed his 
position, and finally when opportunity offered he proved himself 
equally a master of the entire figure. In 1 868-1 869 he visited 
Rome. From 1875 to 1887 ne resided in Florence, and then 

234 



A GROUP OF BUILDERS OF MONUMENTS 



235 



returned to New York. His last years were rendered comparatively 
unproductive through ill health. He died at Middleton, New York, 
Sept. 26, 1894. 

The best known of Mr. Thompson's medallions are his pretty 
" Morning Glory," and a portrait of General John A. Dix. Among 
his many busts are those of James Gordon Bennett the elder, Robert 
B. Minturn, Edwin Booth as Hamlet, Samuel 
F. B. Morse, and two of William Cullen Bry- 
ant, — one in the Metropolitan Museum, New 
York, and the other in the Towne Art Build- 
ing, New Haven. A dignified and genial 
marble portrait of Dr. J. P. Thompson, also 
in the Yale University collection, shows excel- 
lent modern workmanship, although the bare 
breast gives it an old-fashioned look. 

Mr. Thompson's earliest statue of impor- 
tance was the remarkable " Napoleon I," now 
in the Metropolitan Museum (Fig. 34). This 
thoughtful and highly finished work was cast 
in bronze for a purchaser in 1889, but was 
modelled more than a score of years before, 
since it was shown along with a bust of a 
" Rocky Mountain Trapper " at the Paris Ex- 
position in 1867. It is eminently character- 
istic of its creator. Easy in pose, yet firm on 
the feet, quiet and self-contained in every 
line, it presents a gratifying illustration of 
dignified monumental art. Sculpture without 
repose was scarcely sculpture at all to Launt Thompson. A greater 
vivacity of technic may be demanded to-day ; but the modelling, 
like the drawing, of this unexpected little statue, is irreproachable. 
One feels that the sculptor has fairly lavished himself upon it, and 
that he rejoiced to work until he could do no more. 

Within the precincts of Yale University stands Mr. Thompson's 
statue of the first president, Abraham Pierson, who guided the 
infant college from 1700 to 1707. This quiet cloaked figure, mod- 
elled in 1874, offers at a distance a certain family likeness to 




Fig. 34. — Thompson : 
Napoleon I, Metro- 
politan Museum. 



236 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Palmer's " Chancellor Livingston " ; but nearer view discovers a lack 
of Palmer's refinement in both the conception and the treatment of 
the work. The look of the face is inflexible, and might almost be 
taken for sinister ; but the statue as a whole is sculpturally conceived, 
with gratifying lines of almost architectural value. 

Other examples of Mr. Thompson's portraiture are his statues 
of General Ambrose E. Burnside at Providence, Rhode Island 
(equestrian), of General John Sedgwick at West Point, of General 
Winfield Scott at the Soldiers' Home, Washington, and of Admiral 
Dupont, also in Washington. Of these, the latter although perhaps 
the least interesting is the best known on account of its accessibility. 
The admiral is shown standing with feet close together and head 
raised, while he grasps his spy-glass in both hands. Though the 
figure has a somewhat lean air of realism and a look as of standing 
on tip-toe, yet its workmanship is excellent. The more impressive 
" General Scott " stands in the pose of the " Napoleon I," as to the 
lower limbs, but with the right hand thrust into the coat front, and 
the left upon the hilt of the sword. As with all of Thompson's 
uniformed men, the head is bare and the hat invisible. 

While lacking the finer qualities of his master, Mr. Thompson's 
honorable share in the elevation of his art in America is not to be 
denied. He was endowed with an intuitive grasp of the sculptural 
side of things, and with an artistic conscience, which seems the more 
remarkable when contrasted with his erratic life. In the gravity and 
perfection of his art he stood for the best that he knew, anticipating 
somewhat strangely the point of view of Warner. His influence, 
especially during his early career, was therefore extremely valuable 
to the cause of American monumental sculpture. 

" A few years ago the good people of Brattleboro, Vermont, were 
startled and delighted one winter morning by the sight of a colossal 
snow ima°:e at the an^le of two of the larw avenues of the town. It 
wore the form of a majestic angel, crude in outline but effective and 
graceful. It was the wonder of the village until it melted away. 
Meanwhile the fact soon transpired that this marvellous creation was 
the work of a youth, the son of a prominent lawyer of Brattleboro." ' 
In this pretty fashion does Mr. Tuckerman introduce the story of 

1 " Book of the Artists."' p. 597. 



A GROUP OF BUILDERS OF MONUMENTS 237 

Larkin G. Meade (born at Chesterfield, New Hampshire, in 1835). 
He continues that the incident was reported in the papers, and 
finally meeting the eye of good old Mr. Longworth of Cincinnati, — 
" a man who had a passion to cherish native art, especially sculpture," 
— the latter wrote to the postmaster of Brattleboro and inquired 
about the young impromptu artist. If the postmaster had been like 
some, the story might have ended right there ; but luckily he replied, 
and so favorably, too, that Mr. Longworth was led to hold out to 
the boy substantial encouragement to begin the study of plastic art. 
He became a pupil of Henry Kirke Brown, remaining with him 
through the years 185 3-1 85 5, and having as his companion J. O. A. 
Ward, who was five years his senior. 

Mr. Meade's earliest work of importance was a statue of Ethan 
Allen, made from Rutland marble, and now standing in the portico 
of the State House at Montpelier. On the breaking out of the Civil 
War young Meade hastened to the Army of the Potomac, whence he 
sent numerous spirited and graphic illustrations of camp life and 
battle scenes to a New York illustrated paper. In 1862 the inevi- 
table desire for a trip to Italy was gratified. Hiram Powers, who, it 
will be remembered, was a Vermonter himself, welcomed the young 
man to Florence and encouraged him. In a few months he had exe- 
cuted a pleasing statuette, " Echo," which found favor and ultimately 
a purchaser among his wandering countrymen. He remained in 
Italy for three years, pursuing his art with zeal and intelligence, 
and, in the words of his biographer, " finding time, notwithstanding, 
during a sojourn in Venice, to win and wed a fair daughter of that 
venerable, picturesque, and unfortunate city." 

Returning to New York in 1S65, he brought with him several 
works in marble which he exhibited to an appreciative public. He 
had admirably, if unconsciously, gauged the taste of his country- 
men, and the reception accorded him was cordial though not always 
discriminating. 

" These specimens of sculpture indicate both variety and scope, 
grasp and ideality. They consisted of four pieces : first, ' The Re- 
turned Soldier, or The Battle Story,' representing (life-size) a Union 
soldier with a little girl between his knees and leaning on his 
stalwart form in a childlike abandon, while he earnestly relates 



238 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

the story of the war. The attitude of both figures, as well as the 
expression of each, is full of life, interest, and significance ; they 
indeed tell the story to the eye. The subject and execution of 
this group insured its popularity. The other pieces were ' La 
Contadinella,' ' The Thought of Freedom,' and ' Echo,' all attrac- 
tive and effective." : 

Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated in the preceding April, 
and Mr. Meade had taken care to make before leaving Florence an 
elaborate design in plaster for a national monument to his memory. 
It arrived most opportunely. It was far better than the average 
monumental design, and was abundantly equipped with restless 
sculpture. The simplicity of the massive pile, the dignity and accu- 
racy of the Lincoln portrait, the vivacity of the subordinate groups, 
and the generally professional look of the sketch-model appealed 
to the imagination of our people. The commission was speedily 
awarded to the inexperienced young sculptor. The monument was 
destined to cost over $200,000, thus surpassing in importance all 
memorials which had been erected in this country. No American 
sculptor had ever received so large a commission. Meade's fortune 
was made ; at least his opportunity had come, and his future was 
assured. His success was in a sense his country's loss, for he sailed 
away to Italy, never to return. 

It is easier to give an order than to pay for it, and it was not 
until 1S69 that the excavations were begun at Springfield for the 
monument which was destined to be also the tomb of the martyred 
President. The work dragged until 1874, when the pile was dedi- 
cated and the statue of Lincoln unveiled. Three years later the In- 
fantry and Naval groups were added. The Artillery group followed 
in 18S2, and the Cavalry group, completing the design, was put in 
place in 1883. The statue and the groups were modelled in Florence 
and shipped to Chicopee, Massachusetts, for casting. It is said that 
they were modelled directly in the plaster. No doubt Mr. Meade 
shaped the unwilling material quite as successfully as he would have 
handled the clay. It was suited to his precise and unrelenting 
touch. Conscientiously and ably he did his work. It was not his 
fault if he mistook "spirit" for inspiration, and substituted curious 

1 " Book of the Artists,"' p. 597. 



A GROUP OF BUILDERS OF MONUMENTS 239 

Italian textures for charm of modelling. When he designed the 
monument he was one of our best sculptors. His peaceful life was 
thenceforth spent in Florence, quite outside the world of progress, 
and when, nearly twenty years later, he made his last contribution to 
the work, American taste had already outgrown it. At that moment 
in a New York studio was developing an effigy of Lincoln which 
should so far eclipse the one at Springfield that the latter is scarcely 
remembered. 

And yet Mr. Meade's " Lincoln " is by no means a bad statue. 
It is one of the best of many. It stands well upon its feet. It has 
dignity and seriousness, and at a distance might satisfy most eyes 
quite as well as does the masterpiece of Lincoln Park. The trouble 
with it is elusive, yet it is a fatal one : the figure is commonplace. The 
sculptor has done his best, and we honor him for his effort and for 
the conscientious work which he has given us; but we realize — now 
that we have seen a better — that he was not able to rise to the 
height of his theme and to do justice to his noble subject. This 
bronze image, which so insistently extends to us the scroll inscribed 
" Proclamation," may be the very earthly counterfeit of the great 
Commoner. It may have all his attributes : " the stooping shoulders, 
the forward inclination of the head, the manner of wearing the hair, 
the protruding eyebrows, the nose, the mouth, with the prominent 
and slightly drooping lower lip," even "the mole on the left cheek," 
but it gives us no thrill. The essence of greatness is not in it. 

The groups deserve more than a passing glance, because they 
illustrate so thoroughly the realistic ideal — if such a term may be 
permitted. Their effect from a distance is not altogether sculptural, 
but their fault is not lack of animation. On one side, at Lincoln's 
right, three figures seem to be precipitating themselves from their 
turret-like pedestal. On the opposite side a dismounted cavalryman 
struggles to keep his horse in position. To add to the general 
confusion, a glimpse of the naval group from the front shows a 
man crawling to the edge, apparently in distress, and a " powder- 
monkey " — a pretty boy — waving his arms and legs from a pre- 
carious perch on the rim of an immense mortar. The artillerymen 
on the opposite corner are doing their duty, and the whole scene is 
one of turmoil and disorder which lacks but the actual discharge of 



240 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

the " practical " guns to make pandemonium complete. Of course 
this is war, and we have been told what war is. But one cannot 
avoid questioning the fitness of mimic warfare over the last resting- 
place of the dead. Why that prancing, frantic steed ? Why these 
bayonet charges and brazen shrieks of defiance ? Admitting that 
the representatives of the four branches of the service should occupy 
their positions upon the great military tomb, it is conceivable that 
they might pay a greater deference to the place and the occasion. 
Interesting as may be their individual performances, the combined 
effect is that of a stampede. Their sham battle, however seriously 
undertaken, is irrelevant and, artistically speaking, indecorous. Not 
only do they fail to enhance the impression of solemnity; they divert 
and counteract. The tomb of Lincoln is forgotten in the ill-timed 
vehemence of these superfluous performers. 

Vermont contributed to the National Hall of Statuary in the 
Capitol Mr. Meade's " Ethan Allen " (Fig. 35), one of its most 
interesting figures. The arrival of the statue at Washington was 
felicitously announced by a local paper of Feb. 28, 1876 : " The 
cost was $10,000. It represents Colonel Allen as he appeared 
when demanding the surrender of Fort Ticonderoga, ' in the 
name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress.' The 
attitude of the statue is very spirited, much more so than that of 
any other in the hall." 

Judged by the canons of modern Italian art, the " Ethan Allen " 
is excellent sculpture. Westminster Abbey and Saint Paul's offer 
few works that are so fine. America certainly possessed in 1876 
not over a dozen as well done and as full of life. It must be 
acknowledged that in the near neighborhood of Mr. French's 
" Lewis Cass " the figure seems needlessly cut up, and despite the 
Florentine carver's effort at variety of textures, the total result is 
somewhat monotonous; yet if we overlook these minor details we 
shall find here a vigorous and satisfying presentation of a man of 
character. The pose is expressive and at the same time sufficiently 
sculptural. Though the figure is very heavy set, its lines are good 
from all sides, the " stand " of the leg being firm and effective ; the ex- 
pression, too, of the face is frank and manly, without over-refinement 
of handling. The artist has not invited Ethan Allen to a peaceful 




FIG. 35.— MEADE: ETHAN ALLEN, WASHINGTON. 



A GROUP OF BUILDERS OF MONUMENTS 243 

gathering of the great, where his deeds of valor would be sufficiently 
implied by his presence, but has preferred a more obvious and dra- 
matic display of character. This rendering is suited to the larger 
demand, and we need not quarrel with the artist over his choice of 
motif. Having elected to address the general public, Mr. Meade 
has done so intelligibly and forcefully. His work interests all, and 
conveys his meaning to all, excepting to the obtuse and to those 
sophisticated ones who allow harsh modelling and tiresome details 
to close their eyes to fundamental excellences. Singularly enough, 
while the layman loves sculpture for its perforated laces, its buttons 
and watch-fobs and epaulettes, and its cunningly cracked bark 
on marble trees, the mature professional condemns a work on 
account of these very features. Possibly the one over-rates the 
importance of such details as much as does the other. An unnec- 
essary display of cleverness is generally a detriment, but it should 
be remembered that there may be a worthy sculptural conception 
hidden under the hardest trappings and the most elaborated details 
from a modern Italian chisel. A curious thing about a work of this 
character is the fact that with all its " finish " it always looks unfin- 
ished. The sharp, undeviating lines of coat and waistcoat and boot- 
tops suggest a statue barely blocked out by the prentice, awaiting 
the hand of the master who shall play with these contours, soften black 
shadows, and enrich the surface here and there with accents and 
touches of charming unexpectedness. This is France's lesson to 
the modern Italian sculptor, who, enamoured of his own cunning, is 
slow to learn. The " Ethan Allen " and the " Lewis Cass," standing 
almost side by side in the National Hall of Statuary, are admirable 
illustrations of the two methods at their best. 

It seemed a pity that amid the thronging and strident decora- 
tions of the Columbian Exposition a work of the modest worth of 
Mr. Meade's " Triumph of Ceres " should have been so completely 
lost. No one remembers it. No one saw it. Yet it represented 
months of serious labor in the Florentine studio, and contained many 
graceful figures. Of course, in a crowd where all are shouting, it is 
a man's own fault or misfortune if he does not make himself heard, 
and in the case of a decoration it is a serious defect if it does not 
decorate. Undoubtedly the relief might have been missed had it 



244 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

been left out of the pediment of the Agricultural building, — it would 
have been " conspicuous by its absence," — but so far as a distinct 
impression is concerned, the place might have been as adequately 
filled by a conventional ornament or a graceful arabesque. Better, 
perhaps, for precisely what was lacking in Mr. Meade's relief was line. 
It showed no clearly pronounced design. Out-of-door decorations 
should not be in fine print. Especially upon Exposition architecture 
must they be " writ large," that those who run may read. To one 
who stops to examine microscopically, there will be ten thousand who 
give but a glance. The one, if provided with a spy-glass, found this 
Thorwaldsen-like tympanum filled with disconnected beauties. The 
multitude saw in it but a dim and not even graceful confusion. The 
charm of color of the individual figures, their sweetness and grace, was 
completely lost at the only points whence the relief could be viewed. 

One of Mr. Meade's most impressive works is his heroic marble 
statue of " The Father of Waters," a figure which he executed many 
years ago for a citizen of New Orleans, but which changing fortunes 
left upon the sculptor's hands until recently. It portrays the Father 
of Waters as an old man in a half-reclining attitude, somewhat like 
the ancient personifications of the Nile and the Tiber. His rocky 
couch represents the high shores of the river's upper course. A 
spring of water is indicated flowing into the river bed beneath the 
left elbow. The right hand grasps a stalk of Indian corn, from 
underneath which an alligator looks out, and the venerable head 
is crowned with a wreath of tobacco leaves intermingled with pine 
cones and water lilies. 

Mr. Meade still lives at Florence. He impresses all who meet him 
as a serious, thoughtful nature, a man of generous impulses and high 
ideals, who has worthily contributed his part toward the artistic 
advancement of the nation. What larger role he might have played 
in American sculpture had he made his home in this country, it 
were futile to surmise. He might have accomplished things of deeper 
significance ; but the atmosphere of mediaeval Tuscany seems to 
have fascinated him. It is no small matter to have represented as 
honorablv as he has done American character and American taste 
in the little colony of Florence. Of the old-time brilliant group of 
exiles in that fair city, he is the last survivor. 



A GROUP OF BUILDERS OF MONUMENTS 245 

In the autumn of 1902, a New York journal requested a com- 
mittee of local sculptors to designate the city's six finest exam- 
ples of monumental sculpture. Their task was a less difficult one 
than might be supposed. Their verdict, however, brought into 
prominence a name less well known to the country at large than to 
the city where George Bissell's sculpture is to be seen. Belonging, 
by the date of his birth, to the group now under consideration, but 
entering the sculptor's career somewhat tardily, Mr. Bissell escaped 
many of the limitations of the early days, and is so thoroughly 
modern in his sympathies and aspirations that, as in the case of 
Mr. Ward, it seems incongruous to relegate him to this early 
position in the chronological sequence. 

Mr. Bissell was born in 1S39, at New Preston, Litchfield County, 
Connecticut, where his father was a prosperous young quarryman and 
marble worker. Although showing a decided bent toward art, the 
boy was set to work at fourteen as a clerk in a store at Waterbury, 
where he remained until he was of age, when he decided to prepare 
for college. The war put an end to such plans, and the young 
man enlisted, serving until his regiment was mustered out, when he 
received an appointment in the United States Navy as assistant pay- 
master, and was ordered to the South Atlantic squadron, where he 
served until the close of the war. Then, joining his father and 
brother in the marble business, he settled at Poughkeepsie, New 
York. He was soon called upon to furnish designs and models for 
public monuments, and at the age of thirty-two received an order 
for a life-size statue in marble. Without study or previous ex- 
perience he modelled the figure from life and cut it in marble, thus 
compassing in his first efforts the sculptural and mechanical pro- 
cesses of the art. In 1 875-1 876 he visited Europe, travelling and 
studying in Paris, Florence, and Rome. On his return he devoted 
himself to portrait-sculpture, modelling a great number of busts and 
reliefs. From 1883 to 1896 he spent much of his time in Paris, 
producing, among other works, the models for the Soldiers' and Sail- 
ors' Monument at Waterbury, Connecticut; a statue of Colonel John 
L. Chatfield for the same city ; an ideal statue for a fountain at Hud- 
son, New York ; and a statue of Abraham Lincoln and a slave for 
a monument which he designed and placed in Edinburgh, Scotland. 



246 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



During these years, when at his studio at Poughkeepsie, he modelled 
the statue of General Gates, now on the Saratoga battle monument 
at Schuylerville, New York ; the " Standard Bearer " at Winsted, 
Connecticut; the statue of "Union" at Salisbury, Connecticut; 
" Chancellor John Watts " in Trinity churchyard, New York City, a 
bronze replica of which was exhibited at the Columbian Exposition 

at Chicago, and afterward placed 
before the Leake and Watts 
Orphan House at Yonkers, New 
York; and the statue of Chan- 
cellor James Kent, now in the 
new Congressional Library at 
Washington, D.C. His " Ly- 
curgus" (Fig. 36) is on the 
Appellate Court building, New 
York, and his " President 
Arthur " in Madison Square. 

Among the six monuments 
that had the distinction of bein°r 
chosen by the committee of New 
York sculptors was Mr. Bissell's 
" Colonel Abraham de Peyster," 
a seated figure modelled in Paris 
in 1896, and now decorating 
with much " presence " the 
grassy square known as Bowl- 
ing Green. The first impres- 
sion produced by this statue is 
one of flowing robes and high boots and abundant wig; but through 
all this ancient paraphernalia the old-time mayor and man of affairs 
makes himself felt as a personage of character and of authority. He 
sits very solidly, his right hand on his thigh, the left arm supported 
upon his sword as on a staff, the head turned to the left and lifted 
with a look of great decision. He scarcely needs the rolled charter 
with its pendent seal to convince us that he was once master of 
the situation, though his present dignity is dependent upon his 
remaining quietly on his pedestal. 




Fig. 36. — Bissell : Lycurgus. 



A GROUP OF BUILDERS OF MONUMENTS 247 

Interesting as is this statue, it is understood that the choice of 
the sculptors would have fallen upon another of Mr. Bissell's works 
had it been eligible. His "Chancellor John Watts" (Fig. 37) was 
debarred from competition as a public monument because located 
within Trinity churchyard ; but it is Mr. Bissell's finest achievement. 
His natural sense of fitness enables him to give to such a work an air 
of great dignity and composure. The ample robe of the chancellor 
affords mass, while its long lines lend themselves most happily to 
statuesque effect. Such a union of restraint with play of sculptural 
color is exceedingly rare, and its success speaks well for the native 
talent of the sculptor who, without technical training, arrived at 
these results. Work of this character from the hands of the untutored 
" gravestone man " of twenty years ago would seem incredible, were 
it not for the fact that Mr. Bissell has kept patiently and enthusi- 
astically in the line of progress, visiting Paris frequently, associat- 
ing with younger men of skill and attainment, and literally making 
each enterprise a stepping-stone and a schooling for further efforts. 
Deeper than all this, too, is a peculiar attitude of mind which makes 
this true artist keenly interested in the personality of his subjects. 
Be they living or dead, he imagines a vast amount of character into 
them. He is not satisfied to put upon them heads of merely correct 
proportions or even accurate features ; he makes his men intensely 
alive, and reveals them to others as interesting as he finds or imagines 
them himself. 

Mr. Franklin Simmons, though living abroad, is best known for 
his public monuments erected in various cities of the United States. 
He is not without imagination, and early cherished ambitions to be 
recognized as a sculptor of ideal statuary, but, like so many others, 
has gradually bowed to the demands of the period for portrait and 
memorial sculpture. 

Born in 1839, in the town of Webster, Maine, the future artist was 
educated in the public schools of his native town and at Bates Col- 
lege, Lewiston, Maine. He was at one time employed as a runner 
boy in the Hill Mill of the latter place, and, while thus engaged, dis- 
covered his peculiar talent and attracted attention through his clever 
sketches. During his school days he delighted in modelling figures 
in the coarse clay from the banks of the Androscoggin River. One 



24S THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

of his earliest attempts at sculpture was a portrait bust of Dr. Bow- 
ditch of Bowdoin College, which, it is said, still stands on a bracket 
in the Hill Mill office. Upon graduation from college, he turned at 
once to his favorite employment, and met with so much success in 
portraiture that he was soon encouraged to follow the example of 
numerous other young sculptors who had hastened to Washington 
in search of larger opportunities. He spent the winters of 1865 and 
1 866 in that city, where he was favored with sittings from Admirals 
Farragut and Porter, Generals Grant, Meade, Sheridan, Sherman, 
Thomas, Hooker, and others. In 1868 Mr. Simmons received a com- 
mission for a statue of Roger Williams and went to Rome, where he 
has since resided. The figure of the Rhode Island pastor was com- 
pleted in marble in 1870, and stands in Statuary Hall in the Capitol. 
It is a creditable work, which may well have ranked for years among 
the best in that collection. The face is dignified and benign ; the 
figure well understood ; the drapery skilfully disposed, though some- 
what hard in treatment, as was the manner of the time. This statue 
was joined later (1877) by Mr. Simmons's " Governor William King " 
of Maine, a well-posed figure, amply enveloped in a large cloak. 
Here, again, the head is ably suggested, though with little vivacity 
or charm of modelling. The severe treatment of the drapery 
continues. 

The same year saw the unveiling, at Providence, Rhode Island, 
of another statue of Roger Williams from Mr. Simmons's hand. 
As no authentic portrait of Williams is in existence, the artist had, 
as before, the privilege of expressing his own idea of the man, and 
produced a figure which was highly praised by contemporaries. An 
impersonation of History is shown below, presumably recording the 
name of the worthy divine. The use of an accessory figure of this 
character now so familiar, not to say banal, was then new to 
America, and was referred to at the time as follows : " This com- 
bination of one figure above another is altogether novel, and has 
been pronounced bold in the extreme." ' The monument had cost 
the sculptor four years of labor, but meantime other works had 
been in progress. In the favoring atmosphere of Rome his imagi- 
nation had begun to expand, and he produced a series of ideal 

1 "Great American Sculptures," p. 130. 



*> 







FIG. 37. — BISSELL: CHANCELLOR JOHN WATTS, NEW YORK. 



A GROUP OF BUILDERS OF MONUMENTS 251 

statues, among which one finds the more or less familiar names of 
" Penelope," " Medusa," " Seraph Abdiel," " Galatea," " The Mother 
of Moses," and " Benjamin." Of these " The Mother of Moses," or 
" Jochebed," as it was first christened, was one of the earliest and 
a favorite. It reminds one of Mr. Story's seated figures, but is 
better modelled and better carved. It lacks also the exaggerated 
expression of his perturbed heroines, but it is, on the other hand, 
equally lacking in appeal. The labored carefulness of the work- 
manship seems to counteract the intention of the artist. The origi- 
nal spontaneity of the sketch has vanished. One feels that neither 
the mourning mother nor the crowing babe dare move lest the 
composition be spoiled, or the too neatly adjusted drapery disturbed. 
It is obvious that even the mantle thrown over the rock has been 
patiently arranged. In the presence of this statue, as with the 
"Promised Land" of the Metropolitan Museum (1874), one is re- 
minded of the exclamation of Louis Gonse : " Alas ! it is not the 
absence of faults which makes a masterpiece ; it is flame ; it is life ; 
it is emotion ; it is sincerity ; it is the personal accent." 

The crowning group of the Naval Monument in Washington 
(1878) is more persuasive in its emotional appeal. History stands, 
tablet in hand, ready to write the names which a mourning America 
confides to her. The sculptor has made no attempt to realize an 
ideal of national distinction, nor even of personality, in his America. 
It is simply a mourning figure, but the two form a good sculptural 
mass, and are enveloped in graceful, well-executed drapery. Below, 
on the western plinth, is a semi-classic Victory, supported by an 
infant Neptune and Mars ; on the reverse a figure of Peace. These 
subordinate figures are like the architecture of the monument, — 
deficient in style and without impressiveness. 

Mr. Simmons has been an indefatigable worker, having pro- 
duced no less than one hundred portrait busts in marble and fifteen 
public monuments. His latest work of importance is the equestrian 
monument to General Logan in Iowa Circle, Washington, D. C, 
which was unveiled April 9, 1901. This elaborate memorial is 
unusual in being entirely of bronze, and shows a dignified concep- 
tion most conscientiously and adequately wrought into form. The 
characterization of Logan is considered successful ; the figure rides 



252 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

quietly, but the expression of the face and the gesture of the hand 
which clutches the sword mark the intrepidity of the hero. The 
horse is apparently in moderate movement, and is noticeable for 
its careful workmanship. The sides of the pedestal are filled with 
large reliefs, containing life-size figures of Logan and of his distin- 
guished colleagues ; while the front panel is occupied by an armed 
Victory, modelled almost in the round. The angles of the orna- 
mented cornice are gracefully marked by conventional eagles with 
outstretched wings. These and other well-considered details give 
richness to a design which is exceptionally chaste in contour and 
effective in mass. 

Martin Milmore, whose name has been immortalized by Mr. 
French's beautiful relief, " The Angel of Death and the Young 
Sculptor," deserves more than passing notice, not alone because of 
his early development and the rich promise which his death left 
unredeemed, but for the intrinsic value of much good work accom- 
plished in the thirty-nine years of his busy life. 

Mr. Milmore was born in Sligo, Ireland, in the year 1844. 
Upon the death of his father, a schoolmaster, in 1851, the widow 
and children removed to the United States, settling in Boston, 
where, parallel with his studies in the public school, the future 
sculptor made essays in wood-carving under the guidance of his 
elder brother, Joseph (born 1841). Experiments in modelling fol- 
lowed until, delighted with his own success in portraiture, the boy 
determined to make sculpture his work, and wisely arranged for 
systematic study. It was his good fortune to find a welcome in the 
studio of Thomas Ball, with whom he remained four years (1S60- 
1864). His first ideal work, a high relief entitled " Phosphor," was 
produced during this period ; it met with a kindly reception, and 
gained him orders for at least two replicas. Still another order 
followed in the same year (1863) for a statue for the Sanitary 
Fair, in which the artist embodied his idea of " Devotion." With 
great industry the boy produced a number of small works, and in 
1S64, when just twenty years of age, he was commissioned to exe- 
cute in granite for the Boston Horticultural Hall three large deco- 
rative figures, " Ceres," " Flora," and " Pomona." There may be 
question as to the artistic value of these heroics of eight and 



A GROUP OF BUILDERS OF MONUMENTS 253 

twelve feet, but it is evident that in such practice there is very 
oreat advantage for the future creator of monuments. 

A bust of Charles Sumner, modelled in 1865, was presented by 
the legislature of Massachusetts to Mr. George William Curtis, and 
ultimately found its way to the Metropolitan Museum of New York. 
In 1S67 Mr. Milmore began the first of the series of soldier monu- 
ments with which his name is principally associated. This memorial 
which stands in Forest Hills Cemetery, Roxbury, Massachusetts, 
shows a Federal soldier resting upon his gun and contemplating the 
graves of his fallen companions — a motif of far greater impressive- 
ness than is often discovered in the more elaborate and expensive 
monuments with which the country abounds. 

The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, erected on the Boston 
Common in 1874, was Mr. Milmore's most important work. It is 
the conventional military monument: a shaft with figures at the four 
corners of the base and crowned with a statue of Liberty, but it 
shows this now " stock " design at its best. Indeed, it was undoubt- 
edly the success of Mr. Milmore's work and its intrinsic beauty which 
made this form of monument so popular that it has been reproduced 
in varying degrees of incompleteness and ineffectiveness over the 
whole United States. One can recall no other which has the simple, 
quiet dignity of the structure on Boston Common. The proportions 
of base and column and figures are well considered and in their rela- 
tions to each other these members could scarcely be improved. The 
sculpture, in addition to the somewhat negative quality of being in 
good taste, reveals certain positive merits. The most truly sculp- 
tural feature — and therefore the best sculpture of the monument — 
is found in the female figures carved in relief upon the lower section 
of the shaft. These figures, if not distinctly poetic, are treated with 
a fine feeling for their architectural value, and with an intelligent 
deference to the material in which they are carved. Their lines are 
simple and chaste, yet very decorative. The conventionalization of 
detail rendered necessary by the unyielding granite has been managed 
with much skill and actually gives them a distinction which is lacking 
in the more subservient bronzes. Of the latter the Soldier and the 
Sailor were among the first ably executed figures of a realistic charac- 
ter used upon such monuments and are still among the best which 



254 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

our country has produced. Their poses are good ; they stand well 
upon their feet, and their expressions are serious, without too great 
display of feeling. If " real men " must perch thus isolated upon the 
corners and ledges of our monuments, it might well be hoped that 
they should always be as decorous as these. Alternating with the 
two male figures are two seated females whose amiable features and 
well-drawn draperies are attractive, though proving in the end a 
little tiresome. The " Muse of History" is the more graceful of the 
two, but her face is strangely characterless. The crowning figure 
has her hands full with the flag and the aegis, and presents agreeable 
contours on all sides — a dignified statue, though without animation. 

The bronze reliefs upon this monument are often eulogized, but 
they present no sculptural interest. It is strange that the artist who 
had handled the decorative figures above so adequately should have 
shown here a complete neglect of the requirements of relief. The 
panel of "The Sanitary Commission " shows a vast amount of work, 
for it is made up of portraits ; but the total result is in no wise com- 
mensurate with the effort. Indeed, it is rather childish. In the " Fort 
Sumter" this naivete reaches the limit. Nothing could be more 
unsculptural than the expanse of shiny sea with its distant fort, and 
then, down in the left-hand corner, occupying perhaps a sixth of the 
entire area of the panel, a number of tiny bronze figures in full 
relief. 

Despite these shortcomings, the Boston monument is the best 
conceived and the most ably executed work of its class in this coun- 
try. It does great honor not only to the brave men whom it com- 
memorates, but to the conscience of the young artist who so faithfully 
wrought its every detail. Mr. Milmore did most if not all of the 
sculpture of this monument in Rome, and during the years of his 
sojourn abroad modelled, as well, a number of excellent busts, of 
which those of Pope Pius IX, Wendell Phillips, and Emerson may 
be mentioned. 

Other war monuments of Milmore 's designing are those at Keene, 
New Hampshire, at Erie, Pennsylvania, and at Charlestown and 
Fitchburg, Massachusetts, the last named representing " America." 
His statue of General Sylvanus Thayer, " Father of the United States 
Military Academy," is conspicuous at West Point, New York, while 



A GROUP OF BUILDERS OF MONUMENTS 255 

the great granite " Sphinx," which he executed with his brother 
Joseph, stands as an impressive memorial to the Union dead in Mount 
Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Among other busts 
recorded by the chroniclers are those of George Ticknor, in the 
Boston Public Library, Cardinal McCloskey, General Grant, Lincoln, 
and Webster. The sculptor died in Boston, July 21, 1883, and was 
buried in Forest Hills Cemetery, where his grave is marked by 
Mr. French's noble tribute. 

Mr. Milmore stands for good workmanship rather than for poetic 
expression. Few, if any, of his productions seem inspired; they never 
thrill. There is nothing epic in his grasp of war subjects, nothing 
lyric in his treatment of gentler themes ; no trace of sweetness at any 
time. But we find throughout good honest construction, adequate 
modelling, and, rarest of all, a sense of the monumental in line and 
mass. If not always, or, indeed, if seldom, distinguished, his work 
was invariably restrained, without trace of flippancy or ostentation 
or " smartness." It possessed the fundamentals of serious, self- 
respecting art, and had its influence on the side of moderation and 
dignity. 



CHAPTER XIV 

NEW INFLUENCES 

The path of human progress is a zigzag route. The history of 
art is a record of incessant " tacking." Alongside of every successful 
development may be found the germs of a " new movement," destined 
presently to overtop its arrogant rival and to take its place until, in 
the fulness of time, it shall likewise have served its purpose and have 
made way for some fresh impulse. Thus the story of painting or of 
sculpture seems to be made up largely of " returns to nature," though 
as far as the results are concerned there is often slight evidence of a 
change of heart; artificiality has merely taken a new form under 
a fresh and persuasive leadership. 

The change in American sculpture which the Centennial period 
ushered in was not one of name alone, but of spirit — the work- 
ing of new influences now became evident. These influences were 
completing the exchange of a cold, impersonal classicism for an 
expressive and often picturesque truth, destined to attain in its high- 
est manifestations to a new idealism. Broadly speaking, it was the 
substitution of the art of Saint Gaudens for that of Hiram Powers, 
though, of course, no transition is so abrupt as such a statement 
would suggest ; nor could the sculpture of Hiram Powers ever have 
begotten unaided the sculpture of Augustus Saint Gaudens. New. 
and various forces had been making themselves felt for some time. 
Though Powers died but three years before the Centennial Exposi- 
tion in Philadelphia, his work was already largely discredited ; that is 
to say, it had long since ceased to be the standard for younger men. 
The sturdy native works of Brown. Ward, Ball, and John Rogers, 
and particularly the union of familiar truth and sentiment that is 
found in Palmer's chaste fancies, had been exerting their powerful 
influence. Further, while tastes were chansons: at home, an artistic 



NEW INFLUENCES 257 

revolution had taken place in Italy where the native sculptors had 
declined to " do Greek " any longer, betaking themselves to those 
romantic, picturesque, and genre subjects and methods which have 
held sway ever since. This change had been gradual, — a matter of 
years, — and the last American representatives of the " classic school," 
notably Rinehart and Miss Hosmer, showed, as has been seen, a con- 
siderable infusion of life in their ideal works; while Story, more 
audacious if less artistic, clung still to the ancient subjects, but treated 
them in a personal and exaggerated way of his own. In 1876 Mr. 
Story was our most noted sculptor abroad, and Palmer the most 
popular at home. 

Meantime others beside Richard Greenough had discovered 
Paris. At least three young American sculptors had been enrolled 
in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts before the Franco-Prussian War. One 
of this number, Howard Roberts of Philadelphia, made his debut at 
the Centennial Exposition, with a figure, " La Premiere Pose," which 
was so superior in technical qualities to the mass, of American 
work that it created a sensation. The idea, however, foreign to 
American experience and tastes, lent itself to a worthy sculptural 
rendering — a young woman, who is preparing to pose undraped for 
the first time in a painter's studio, and who, overcome by self-con- 
sciousness, crouches back in her chair, shrinking from observation. 
The figure, though beautifully proportioned and graceful, is not an 
altogether attractive one. In its initial conception there is an affecta- 
tion of modesty which strikes a false note. The " shrinking " is a 
little too obtrusive, too professional. A young model, who is really 
timid, shows it with much less effort. The blush or paleness, the 
rigid pose and the startled or downcast eye, are far more convincing 
than all this contortion, and appeal infinitely more to the sympathy. 
But outside of this it must be conceded that the work is good 
sculpture. It is conceived as sculpture, and it is constructed. There 
is certainty in the drawing and firmness as well as delicacy in the 
modelling, and finally the marble has been carved with intelligence 
and precision. To some tastes the precision is indeed overdone, 
there being a suggestion of modern Italian handicraft in the elaborate 
fringe of chair and mantle and the conspicuous palette, with its 
running colors; but after all it is the well-modelled figure which pre- 
s 



258 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



dominates and which satisfies us through a grace extending literally 
to the finger-tips. Hands had not been so well done before in the 
history of American sculpture. Compared with the knowledge and 
control of the body shown in this work, many of the earlier statues 
look almost like examples of poor taxidermy ; the features, the parts, 
and the superficial markings are all present, to be sure, but there is 
no feeling of bone and muscle underneath. With the French school- 
ing came not only a 
new impulse in the 
spirit of American 
sculpture, but the 
demand for a compre- 
hensive knowledge 
of the physical struc- 
ture. Henceforth 
the sculptor must 
know his theme. 

Howard Roberts 
was born in Phila- 
delphia in 1S43. He 
studied in the Penn- 
sylvania Academy 
of Fine Arts, and 
was for some time 
under the instruction 
of J. A. Bailly. It 
was in 1886 that he 
went first to Paris, 
where he remained 
for several years as a student in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, in the 
Atelier Dumont. He also received instruction from M. Gumery. 
Both of these sculptors are said to have taken a lively interest in 
their American pupil ; and while they themselves represented the old 
school, it is evident that he owed much to their intelligent guidance. 
Returning to America, Mr. Roberts modelled several ideal busts, 
of which " Eleanor," in the Pennsylvania Academy, may serve as an 
example. This pleasing work has a pretty face, of refined type, 




Fig. 38. — Hartley : John Gilbert, Players' Club. 



NEW INFLUENCES 259 

but shows no remarkable modelling, nor a great deal of character. 
The hair is better handled than in most works of the time, but the 
drapery has a curious, wilted look. Then followed a statuette of 
" Hester Prynne," representing the heroine of " The Scarlet Letter " 
on the pillory with her babe in her arms. This meritorious work 
was succeeded by a series of portrait and ideal busts, and by a life- 
size statue of " Hypatia." Mr. Roberts returned, in 1873, to Paris 
with the plaster cast of this figure, presumably intending to put it in 
marble. He became engrossed, however, in the new theme, " La 
Premiere Pose," to the exclusion of all other interests, and the 
" Hypatia " was not put in marble until the artists return to 
America, while " La Premiere Pose " was completed in time for 
the Centennial, where it received one of the three medals awarded 
to American sculptors. 

A contemporaneous estimate of Mr. Roberts's " Hypatia" maybe 
quoted, since the work was accounted a very important one in its. day : 
" The merely technical merits of the ' Hypatia ' are as great as those 
of the ' Premiere Pose,' but the subject is such a striking one, and it 
is treated in such a powerful and effective manner, that the statue 
demands to be judged on other and higher than technical grounds. 
This work was, after being completed in marble, put on public exhi- 
bition for a short time, and was visited by many thousands of persons. 
There was but one verdict in regard to it, and that was that it was 
the most impressive piece of sculpture that had been shown in Phila- 
delphia for many years. This admirable statue increased the fame 
of Roberts even more than the ' Premiere Pose ' did, for it appealed 
to a wider range of tastes, and a different order of sympathies. In it 
the beautiful Alexandrian Greek — the last of the pagans — is shown 
as turning at bay on the altar of the church into which she has been 
driven by the fanatical monks who are thirsting- for her blood. The 
motion of turning is very finely expressed, — to mention one striking 
point of technical excellence, — and the hunted woman faces her sav- 
age pursuers with mingled indignation, disgust, and despair on her 
face, as with one hand she clasps her tattered draperies to her breast 
and with the other half supports herself by means of one of the can- 
dlesticks of the altar. Fine as this powerful performance is through- 
out, the face is particularly worthy of admiration. It is a purely 



260 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Greek face in type, and yet there is no Greek statue we know of that 
is marked by strong individuality — by what we moderns call charac- 
ter — to the extent that this one is." ' 

Mr. Roberts established himself in Philadelphia in 1875. Here, in 
a large studio which attracted many visitors, he carved his " Hypatia," 
and here he modelled his last ideal figure of which we have record, 
the " Lot's Wife." " Hypatia " is not nearly so good a figure as its 
companion in the Pennsylvania Academy, " La Premiere Pose," 
though it shows a vigorous thought and much clever workmanship. 
Its excellence is marred by exaggeration — the face is all features and 
frown — and by a painful insistence upon the accessories. The 
churchly crucifix and censer are over-prominent, fringes abound, 
and the carving of the hair is unpleasantly restless. The hands are 
remarkable for their realism, looking like plaster casts from nature. 

The statuette of " Lots Wife " is described as: "A very singular 
creation, which could only have been imagined by the artist in a gro- 
tesque mood. It cannot be called beautiful, but it is most original 
in conception and execution, and, in spite of its grotesqueness, it is 
full of power and impressiveness. The woman is represented in a 
writhing attitude, and she is not only being enveloped in the crystals 
of salt which are forming around her, but she is actually dissolving 
into salt herself. The idea of transformation is very much more per- 
fectly expressed in this statuette than it is in Bernini's ' Daphne,' or 
in any attempts to represent metamorphosis that we know of. Lot's 
wife is really turning into a pillar of salt, and, admitting that the idea 
of such a transformation is a rather queer one for a sculptor to choose, 
we must also admit that it is expressed with remarkable skill." - 

And here the record ends. No further notice is to be found any- 
where of Mr. Roberts or of subsequent productions. Probably he 
felt it sufficient glory to have made us acquainted with the modern 
French school, and having done his work he stopped. He died in 
Paris, Apr. 19, 1900. 3 

1 " Great American Sculptures." p. 102. 2 Ibid., p. 103. 

3 Mr. Roberts's " Fulton " in the National Hall of Statuary is a picturesque and much- 
tooled figure, which shows the inventor in knee-breeches and shirt sleeves, seated in an arm- 
chair and buried in contemplation of a small model of his steamboat. The expression of the 
face is largely concealed by the pose of the head, and the restlessness of the technic combines 
with a lack of strong lines to make this an unsatisfactorv work. 



NEW INFLUENCES 261 

Another young man who won honors from the American public 
at the Centennial Exposition was Pierce Francis Connelly, then 
residing in Florence. Like Howard Roberts, his name had been 
quite unknown before ; he enjoyed similar meteoric success, and 
resembled him further in the completeness of his subsequent dis- 
appearance from view. The particulars of his origin and education 
are to be found in no encyclopaedia. Nevertheless there were many 
more works bearing his name at the Centennial than were exhibited 
by any other American sculptor, and some of these were productions 
of no little power. The most important of the number were a bronze 
group of " Honor arresting the Triumph of Death," a marble group 
of " Saint Martin dividing his Cloak," and marble statues of 
" Ophelia " and of " Thetis." Of these the " Honor and Death " is 
now in the Pennsylvania Academy, and the " Thetis " in the Metro- 
politan Museum. 

Although small in dimensions, — half life-size, — the allegorical 
group of " Honor and Death " was among the most impressive 
things in the art department of the exhibition, and remains to-day a 
remarkable work of its time. It is composed of five figures and of a 
horse in vigorous action, on which Death sits revelling in slaughter, 
having just struck down Courage, Perseverance, and Strength, only 
to find himself stopped and disarmed by Honor. The thought is a 
fine one, and the undertaking no slight task, of which the young 
sculptor acquitted himself admirably in all of the main features. 
One scarcely knows which to admire more, the audacity of the 
scheme or the skill with which it has been handled. It occupied 
its author from 1866 to 1869, according to the inscription which it 
bears. 

One turned with no little surprise from this turbulent product 
of the romantic spirit to the classic subject, " Thetis and her Son 
Achilles," which Mr. Connelly had completed in his Florentine 
studio in 1874. This work, bearing the same date as Rinehart's 
" Latona," is a conception of much charm, a seated figure whose 
every line shows the artist's sense of grace. It is unfortunate, how- 
ever, in reproduction ; the marble drapery is tiresome, the thin under- 
garment which falls over a projecting leg being especially bad, while 
the ornaments on the mantle are in such relief as to cut up its 



262 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

surface most disastrously. The " Ophelia " was yet another example 
of the versatility of its author, being a distinctly modern production 
in the Florentine style so familiar to-day. A graceful, sweet-faced 
figure in elaborate costume advances, offering a flower with win- 
some gesture. There is no trace of madness in this ideal of the 
unfortunate girl, and — to group incongruous thoughts — there is 
as slight trace of the sculpturesque in the artist's conception ; but 
we can well believe that the fair face and the elegance of brocades 
and laces would more than atone with most spectators for such 
deficiencies. Connelly's " Ophelia " helped to confirm the growing 
taste for " embroidered " marbles. The tide of commercial sculpture, 
arrested by the Civil War and stagnant for some time afterward, 
now rolled in with redoubled volume. 

While practically no American sculptors have established them- 
selves of late years in Italy, a number of the older men continue 
there. Mr. Meade has been referred to as the last survivor in Flor- 
ence, and Franklin Simmons as the dean of the diminished Roman 
group. Among the few others remaining must be mentioned Moses 
Ezekiel, who was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1844. Mr. Ezekiel 
received a military education, after which he devoted himself for a 
time to the study of anatomy. His artistic training was obtained at* 
the Royal Academy in Berlin. He was admitted into the Society 
of Artists of that city on the merits of a colossal bust of Washing- 
ton, a copy of which is in the Cincinnati Museum of Fine Arts. 
His first important work was a marble group representing " Re- 
ligious Liberty," shown at the Centennial Exposition, and remaining 
permanently in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Mr. Ezekiel has 
produced many portraits and no small number of ideal works, such 
as his " Faith," in a cemetery of Rome ; " Madonna," for a church 
in Tivoli ; "Apollo and Mercury," in Berlin; and the "Fountain of 
Neptune," for the town of Nettuno, Italy. 

Mr. Ezekiel has a talent for exquisite carving, or at least an ap- 
preciation of it, and his envois to this country are always noticeable 
on this account in the collections where they are to be found. His 
" Judith " in the Cincinnati Museum is more realistic than ideal, 
but the skill of its workmanship cannot be denied. His "Head of 
Christ " in the Peabody Institute, in Baltimore, is even more trying 



NEW INFLUENCES 263 

to one's patience, if not positively offensive. It suggests vaguely 
the well-known bust of Caracalla — a dull, inert Caracalla. The 
pose and treatment, however, are striking. A rope passes twice 
about the body, and the drapery and hair are remarkable for their 
clever workmanship — so clever, indeed, are they that one quite 
forgets the intention of the bust while studying its surface. 

In the same hall may be seen as a companion to Rinehart's 
" Clytie " a standing male figure by Mr. Ezekiel, entitled " Faith," 
presumably a replica of the one mentioned above as being in a 
Roman cemetery. This marble shows a handsome youth in 
a graceful attitude, with right hand uplifted and head thrown back. 
The modelling and carving of the nude forms are excellent ; the 
effect of the figure from all sides, very pleasing. 

The most important work, however, which Mr. Ezekiel has sent 
to this country, is his monument to Thomas Jefferson, in Louisville, 
Kentucky. In this somewhat whimsical conception the sculptor has 
placed the author of the Declaration of Independence upon the 
Liberty Bell, or at least has made use of a bell-shaped pedestal of 
bronze, surrounded by dainty decorative figures. The idea is novel 
and interesting, though too fanciful to be impressive. There is 
much beauty of modelling in various parts of the work, particularly 
in the subordinate figures. 

Mr. Ezekiel can scarcely be called a leader in American art, but 
his works demand mention in this chapter rather than elsewhere, 
because they appeared early among the new influences which at first 
confused and later clarified American taste. As has been seen, his 
initial exhibit was made at the Centennial, where it introduced to 
our public the German and the new Italian methods. These schools 
have been neglected by the succeeding generation of American 
sculptors, having had few, if any, followers. Mr. Ezekiel's own art, 
however, so ably expressive of their methods, has been very popular, 
and must have contributed not a little to the downfall of the thread- 
bare classicism which had prevailed up to his time. 

Jonathan Scott Hartley was born in Albany, New York, in 
September, 1846. He began working in a monumental marble 
yard at the age of sixteen, and had soon acquired sufficient skill 
to win him entrance to the studio of E. D. Palmer, for whom he 



264 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

carved during the years 1863 and 1864. Soon after this he went to 
London, where he studied for three years in the Royal Academy, 
working there evenings only, however, since it was necessary that 
he be self-supporting. Another year was spent in Berlin, after 
which he returned to this country. He had later an opportunity to 
go to Italy for a few months, and concluded his long and varied 
student life with a year in Paris. It was in 1875 that he finally 
opened a studio in New York, where he set himself at once to 
the task of modelling imaginative works. The first of these was 
entitled " A Little Samaritan," and was exhibited at the Centennial 
Exposition at Philadelphia. Mr. Hartley's professional fame was 
made, however, by "The Whirlwind," which appeared in 1S78, 
and was much complimented in its day for the originality of the 
thought and the vigor with which it was developed. A critic of 
twenty-five years ago pronounced the figure " a serious, substantial, 
and thoroughly artistic work, full of epic passion under self-control." 
Another observed : " ' The Whirlwind ' should not displease robust 
tastes. The subject itself once accepted, we must acknowledge 
that Mr. Hartley has carried it out well, albeit a little too vigor- 
ously. The spiral of the drapery, like a great piece of kelp, is 
very cleverly managed, and the general pose of the figure is good." 
Mr. Hartley's first public statue was " Miles Morgan," a Puritan 
subject, erected in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1882; his latest, 
produced in 1901, the figure of Rev. Thomas K. Beecher, placed 
at Elmira, New York. Other public works are the Daguerre mon- 
ument in Washington, D.C. ; the Ericsson statue and "Alfred the 
Great " in New York City, the latter being one of the decorative 
figures which crown the Appellate Court building. Though strongly 
drawn in the direction of ideal sculpture, Mr. Hartley has for some 
years past devoted most of his time to portrait busts, and he is now 
somewhat of a victim to his great reputation for this class of work. 
The public will not let him do anything else. A bust by Hartley 
is considered by many a synonym for the most precise and authentic 
characterization possible. Nothing could be more admirable than 
the conscience which the sculptor shows in these closely studied 
works. Nothing could be more penetrating. One submits to him 
with the feeling that the X-rays are to be turned on ; that not only 




FIG. 39. — WARNER: DIAXA, COTTIER & CO., NEW YORK. 



NEW INFLUENCES 267 

the uttermost wrinkle will be noted, but that the innermost thought 
is to be revealed. The sitter observes in the end with deep grati- 
tude that professional etiquette has prevailed ; the sculptor has not 
told everything, but it has been a narrow escape — he could have 
done so if he had wished to. 

Not that the busts of this clever man are uniformly great. It is 
simply impossible to make a great work of art out of some heads ; 
they are not made for it. It is doubly impossible, so to speak, when 
the sculptor realizes this fact at the beginning of his study of a sub- 
ject. His enthusiasm fails, and his clever hand is paralyzed. At 
such times a man of Mr. Hartley's skill makes up on detail. The 
result is that now and then there comes from his studio a head 
which is dry and " crummy," as the painters would say, with the skin 
drawn tight over the bones, the face unvivacious and unresponsive. 
But when Mr. Hartley is at his best he has few rivals, in this country 
at least, for close, intimate, unflinching characterization. Others 
may generalize, giving a phase of the man, — a view that is effective 
and even masterful when seen in the proper lighting; but Mr. Hart- 
ley's searching studies present the very man himself — they will 
stand any light and any approach. Take, for instance, the bust 
of " John Gilbert as Sir Peter Teazle " (Fig. 38), a work which was 
completed on Mr. Gilbert's eightieth birthday. The bronze stands 
among the treasures of the Players' Club in a rather trying cross 
light, but it asks no favors, for it needs none. Those shrewd eyes 
peer out with the keenness of an intelligence behind them. It is 
almost impossible to divest one's self of a semi-conscious recognition 
of the face as that of a living personality. It is one of the most 
real things in American art. The modelling of soft puffy flesh and 
of solid bone, of wig and costume, could not be carried further. It 
might be made more minute, but it would cease to be good sculp- 
ture, and cease as well to have the look of plastic spontaneity which 
is so delightful here. One should notice how cunningly the sculptor 
has handled the details of the coat and of the ribbon : no hard edges 
anywhere, but a "touch and go," a sprinkling of accents which is 
a joy to the eye. Yet what moderation does one find in all this 
playfulness, what control of the " whole " ! The treatment of the 
body is in quite another key, however, from that of the face. The 



268 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

former is simplified almost to low relief handling instead of being 
cut up as a poorer artist might have done. It is, so to speak, " out 
of focus " ; the head is paramount, and here the sculptor has given 
greater emphasis and full contrasts with the successful result which 
we so much admire. 

We turn from this comfortable face to one of a very dissimilar 
type : Felix Morris as the Marquis in " A Game of Cards," a thin, 
amiable, and rather grotesque countenance, tinged with sadness. 
Here the workmanship is no less fascinating: the wrinkled cheek, 
still further perplexed by the aggressive collar and " choker," the 
sensitive, whimsical mouth, the well-modelled ear — and what a com- 
fort it is to see an ear modelled with some respect for its individual- 
ity — the dreamy yet penetrating eye ; then, after these essentials, the 
impetuous, sketchy massing of the hair and, once more, the softening 
of the outlines of the coat, which remains firm in drawing, but loses 
its sharp edges in grateful half-tones — these are some of the beau- 
ties of this quaint bust. It is hardly needful to say that for those 
who know the value of each affectionate touch in a work of art there 
is great satisfaction in such a performance as this. 

A few portrait statues, a fountain, a half-dozen busts, and 
two or three score medallions — such appears at first sight the 
scanty achievement of one whom America's sculptors delight to 
honor, a man whose name stands among the highest. In one sense 
Olin L. Warner's life was unproductive ; in another it was richly 
fruitful ; for while it shows no long catalogue of works, everything 
that he signed was art and good art. Coming when he did, his 
influence on the side of worthy sculpture was important ; had his 
works been more widelv known during his lifetime, he might have 
become a recognized leader. 

Olin Levi Warner was born at West Suffield, Connecticut, in 
1844, the son of an itinerant Methodist preacher of long New Eng- 
land ancestry. The family removed from Connecticut to Amster- 
dam, New York, in 1846, and there the son attended the district 
school until his fifteenth year, when he entered an academy of 
Orange County. Two years after, his father's wanderings took the 
family to Brandon, Vermont, where the young man remained in 
school until he was nineteen years of age. During his childhood he 



NEW INFLUENCES 269 

had shown a decided talent for carving heads and statuettes in 
chalk, and now he aspired to a more serious test of his abilities — 
a portrait bust of his father. Unacquainted with the processes of 
modelling and casting, he procured a barrel of plaster, and " setting " 
it in one great mass, broke off the staves and attacked it with ham- 
mer and chisel. Native talent and perseverance won the day ; the 
work was pronounced a success, and counted worthy of exhibition at 
the state fair. It was a turning-point in the boy's career, for it con- 
vinced him, as well as his friends, of his "call " to the sculptor's pro- 
fession. It brought no aid, however, and quite dependent upon his 
own exertions, he set himself courageously to work to earn money 
with which to go abroad. He studied telegraphy, and for six years 
was employed at Albion and Rochester, New York, and at Augusta, 
Georgia. It was, therefore, not until 1869 that he was able to sail 
for Europe. He was now twenty-five years of age, and no time was 
to be lost. Good fortune directed him to Paris, where, although 
friendless and alone, without even letters of introduction, he soon 
made acquaintances of the right sort, and ultimately found safe har- 
bor in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He remained in Paris three 
years and a half, not only working diligently in the Atelier Jouffroy, 
but even assisting Carpeaux for a short time in his private studio, 
while making the acquaintance of such artists as Falguiere and 
Mercie. 

Meantime, other things were occurring in and around Paris. 
Mr. Warner's first year there was the last of the Empire, and when 
the Republic was proclaimed, Sept. 4, 1870, Warner, with other 
American residents in sympathy with the French, enlisted in the 
foreign legion. He remained in Paris during the siege and the occu- 
pation by the Commune of 1871, and at its termination resumed his 
studies. Returning to America in the fall of 1872, he took a studio 
in New York City, but never did an eager and expectant artist meet 
with more dismal reception. Warner's art was clearly ahead of his 
time. Always a " sculptor for sculptors," rather than for the pub- 
lic, his welcome was not that of those who used to bring over a 
"stock" from Italy, "open a studio" on Broadway, and sell out in 
a few weeks. For four years the sculptor hoped against hope ; then, 
after all the sacrifices of his life, he gave up the struggle and 



270 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

returned for a time to his father's farm. During this dark period 
he had worked for manufacturers of silver and plated ware and 
bronze mantel ornaments. His single exhibit at the Centennial 
was a large medallion of Edwin Forrest, a bold and expressive 
work. 

Restless upon the farm, Mr. Warner sought other means of live- 
lihood, and applying to Mr. Plant, president of the Southern Express 
Company, was encouraged to return to his profession by an order 
for two portrait busts. In 1S78 he met Mr. Daniel Cottier, then 
just opening his art rooms in New York, and was invited to exhibit 
his bust of Mrs. Plant. The acquaintance grew into a warm friend- 
ship, which meant much in Mr. Warner's life. A small portrait 
bust of Mr. Cottier is a work memorable among American sculp- 
tures, so beautiful is its craftsmanship, so genial its interpretation. 
Other busts followed, fascinating works of classic simplicity and 
extraordinary richness of modelling. Of this period likewise is a 
half-draped ideal figure in marble called "Twilight," a work of un- 
usual grace. Though Mr. Warner was still unknown to the public, 
his position was now fully established among his colleagues ; it is 
interesting to note that he was one of the five original members of 
the Society of American Artists. In 1876 he exhibited a bust of his 
father and some medallions; in 1879 the statue of "Twilight"; in 
1880 a bust of J. Alden Weir; in 1881 a small statue of a " Dancing 
Nymph" and a bust of Miss Maud Morgan; in 1882 a relief of 
"Cupid and Psyche," and in 1883 a bust of Miss Cottier. Natu- 
rally of less refined workmanship were various Indian heads and 
other decorations for the Long Island Historical Society, and five 
colossal heads of more recent date for the Pennsylvania railway 
station in Philadelphia. 

Late in the eighties Mr. Warner made a long tour with a party 
through the West. The direct harvest of this journey was a series 
of relief portraits of Indians, a collection of great value both eth- 
nologically and artistically. Many of these reliefs will be found 
pictured in an article in the Century Magazine} Mr. Warner's 
skill in relief was exceptional, and ranked with that of Mr. Saint 
Gaudens. His portraits of his parents, of Wyatt Eaton, of W. C. 

1 Vol. XV, p. 392. 




FIG. 40. — WARNER: IMAGINATION, WASHINGTON. 



NEW INFLUENCES 273 

Brownell, and other friends are among the choicest of our native 
productions in this field. His full-length portrait statues are three in 
number : " Governor Buckingham " of Connecticut in the state Capi- 
tol ; and " William Lloyd Garrison " and " General Devens " in Boston. 
Of these the two first are seated ; the latter is erect and very soldierly. 
These bronze figures, particularly the " Garrison," are among the best 
that our country has thus far produced. The " Governor Bucking- 
ham " is necessarily an official portrait, and bears, perhaps, a suggest- 
ion of a man sitting for his picture ; but it is a fine, satisfying work of 
very sculptural aspect. The " Garrison " is naturally more intense, 
and as the interpretation of a human character in the legitimate terms 
of monumental art is to be rated among the great statues of America. 
It has something of the same quality as Mr. Saint Gaudens's " Far- 
ragut," a repose which is deceptive, and which goes far to enhance 
the effect of internal activity. Within the quiet, unaccentuated con- 
tours of this composition is a slumbering fire, a tension betrayed 
only by the clutch of the hands and the vigorous turn of the head. 
The sculptor has charged his work with individuality, has made it 
alive, aflame with energy and emotion, yet not a single stroke has 
carried his interpretation to excess. Garrison sits there — a pent-up 
volcano, a human dynamo — ready to leap to his feet, to defend, 
to attack, to suffer, to accomplish ; and yet he is only a quiet, well- 
composed bronze statue in an arm-chair. 

Technically we have no better sculpture than this figure. The 
body within the garments is " constructed " ; one feels that it has been 
thoroughly understood, yet it is nowhere insisted upon. Like the 
clothed forms the details of the costume, while scrupulously exact, are 
never obtrusive. There is not a sharp cut nor a harsh accent in 
all that varied surface. It wears the light veil of subtle modelling 
which marks consummate sculpture; one's eye finds in it a positive 
satisfaction, quite apart from the significance of the work and its 
life-likeness. Here is where Mr. Warner never failed to show him- 
self a master of his craft. He always remembered the " whole," 
never sacrificing it to a part. His almost Greek sensitiveness to 
form preserved him from the mistakes of the over-conscientious, or 
rather, the ignorantly conscientious, sculptor who insists upon every 
detail, who detaches every feature of face, costume, and accessory. 



274 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



who cuts deep, underscoring, as it were, every word, not realizing 
that his perpetual, insistent stress is killing all effect. When 
such a man gets done we have the " finish " which William 
M. Hunt used to tell of, — "the finish which rats give to cheese." 
Everything is eaten up ; nothing remains but fatigue for the eye 
and mind. With Mr. Warner, on the other hand, every touch was 
autographic, giving not the literal fact, but the truth adapted to 
sculptural ends as felt by this individual artist mind. Beauty was 
always present; beauty of line and that surface charm which has 
marked all great sculpture of the past. One finds invariably the 
suavity and flow of forms, the coating of atmosphere, with which 
a skilled artist is able to envelop his work. 

Delightful in conception and exquisite in workmanship are the 
two figures which Mr. Warner modelled in 18SS for a fountain in 
Portland, Oregon ; two caryatides upon either side of a pier, who 
assist in supporting a large basin. So beautiful are these classic 
maidens, so serene and graceful in pose, that they must afford keen 
surprise to one who discovers them in that far western city. Mr. 
Charles de Kay's comment is probably still true, that " there is noth- 
ing so beautiful in statuary westward from Chicago." 1 Of the same 
severe type of beauty is that self-contained little " Diana " (Fig. 39) 
which Mr. Warner modelled one winter " without hope of reward," a 
seated figure rousing up, though not startled, at the approach of poor 
Actaeon. This chaste gem of classic inspiration shows Mr. Warner's 
mastery of the nude and makes one regret the meagreness of his 
opportunity. It is evident that he was capable of great expression 
in this, the highest field of sculpture. But united with the admir- 
able balance of the man, with the simplicity of his purpose, was 
the cognate virtue, an inflexible honesty which could not be 
warped by the demands of a vitiated public taste. His superb 
workmanship was not to be diverted to unworthy ends, and as his 
somewhat taciturn exterior was reflected to a certain degree in the 
austerity of his conceptions — strange blend of New England and 
Hellas ! — the true poet underneath was recognized by only a few 
men of sympathetic temperament. 

The story ends all too rapidly. Mr. Warner designed for the 

1 Century Magazine, Vol. XV, p. 392. 



NEW INFLUENCES 275 

Columbian Exposition the well-remembered souvenir half-dollar, and 
made colossal heads of various great artists for the Art Palace ; he 
also did certain sculptures for the New York building, including 
busts of Governors Clinton and Flower. In 1S94 he made the 
statue of General Devens, already referred to, and began important 
work for the new Congressional Library. The three bronze doors 
of the main entrance were to have been his, but he completed only 
the first. The tympanum group of five figures represents " Tradi- 
tion," and the panels of the doors contain two figures of much 
beauty, personifying " Imagination " (Fig. 40) and " Memory." A 
second door was already designed and in progress when, on Aug. 
14, 1S96, Mr. Warner died from the effect of a fall while riding 
in Central Park, New York. 

A unique tribute, published by the National Sculpture Society, 
testified to its sense of loss. Here in eloquent words Mr. W. C. 
Brownell recited the worth of the man and artist, bringing into 
relief his unusual qualities of simplicity, sincerity, and sensitiveness. 
His eulogy concludes as follows : — 

" The potencies of beauty native to any problem were what at- 
tracted him. These once seized, he pursued their unfolding and 
unveiling with absolute directness. His technic, in the largest 
sense as well as in the minutest respect, was instinctively derivative 
and immediately dependent upon the character of his particular 
problem. He never asked himself what he could do with a con- 
ception by dressing it up or tricking it out in the execution. The 
conception dictated the execution. His conceptions themselves 
were as simple as they were fundamental. He inquired what was 
appropriate, not what could be made effective. The very eminent 
effectiveness he achieved was due to the fact that this simple and 
sincere way of considering a work was united with the intuitiveness 
and perception of a born sculptor, who, when he saw things directly, 
saw their sculptural side. He liked the aspect of things just in pro- 
portion as it conveys their essence, which I take to be the true 
sculptor's feeling. Naturally he abhorred the meretricious, and 
even suspected the picturesque — the picturesque which, in sculp- 
ture, holds the aegis of its protection over so much that is super- 
ficial, empty, transitorily interesting, and thoroughly unsculptural. 



276 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

He probably never in his life changed a movement or modified a 
plane to win Philistine favor or please a dilettante whim. . . . He 
leaves his work unfinished ; the best of it was undoubtedly before 
him, for such a nature as his, depending more on native than on 
acquired powers, reaches slowly the acme of its development. But 
the memory of him which his friends will cherish, and which the 
discerning portion of the public will retain, is that of a singularly 
rounded and complete career." 



PART III 
AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

CONTEMPORARY MEN, 1876-1903 




h 

I- 



CHAPTER 

AUGUSTUS SAINT I 

tle influences purely local and 
ediments in the artist's race for pi 
less m that the greatest men a 

tions of their age. In this sense e 
Dumas the elder, — 
The real, thinking, cr 
xpression to tl 
or not, the 
lity is m 

■veil said, " the na 
is effort to .express a c 
completest way." 

In the third period of Ameri 
at work and new ch 
ite as marked - 

as old-' 
ad opened their ey 
ged their themes to suit changing 
such apparent changes were men 
sculp' ig been too generally foil 

'ice 1876, however, sculpture 
; on of feeling, the "neatness 
ing way to a manifestatioi 
with an increasing perfect; 
n of ideas. Our sculpt 

ng theme plate viii. 

SAINT GAUDENS: SHAW MEMORIAL. BOSTON. 




.IIIV HTAJ^ 
.M0T20S .JAIH0M3M WAH3 :2H3QUA0 TMIA3 



CHAPTER XV 

AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS 

While influences purely local and accidental are but too often 
impediments in the artist's race for permanent fame, it is neverthe- 
less a truism that the greatest men are the most perfect incorpora- 
tions of their age. In this sense every artist is to some extent what 
Michelet called Dumas the elder, — " Not a man, but one of the forces 
of nature." The real, thinking, creating sculptors have in all times 
given visible expression to the trend of national life ; their works are, 
intentionally or not, the records of the ideals of their day. And thus 
their originality is not the reward of great effort and anxious seeking, 
but, as has been well said, " the natural and inevitable result of a 
conscientious effort to express a clear conception in the clearest and 
completest way." 

In the third period of American sculpture new influences are 
found at work and new characterizations become necessary. The 
change is quite as marked as between the first and the second periods ; 
indeed, the mass of our sculpture produced before the Centennial 
seems to-day almost as old-fashioned and alien as the earliest works. 
A few men had opened their eyes to the world they lived in, and 
many had changed their themes to suit changing demands ; but with 
most of them such apparent changes were merely superficial, our 
sculptors having been too generally followers rather than leaders 
in thought. Since 1876, however, sculpture has become a more 
genuine expression of feeling, the " neatness " and " correctness " of 
an amateur age giving way to a manifestation of true creative power. 
Hand in hand with an increasing perfection of form one discerns a 
gradual elevation of ideas. Our sculptors are learning to choose the 
broader and more lasting themes ; the hitherto timid wings are begin- 
ning to soar. 

2 79 



2 So THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Almost immediately after the Centennial the Italianate group 
became negligible as a force, and the Parisian-trained sculptors rose 
into a prominence which, in a short time, became domination. To- 
day the influence of Paris is visible in all American sculpture, but, 
it may be added, only on the technical side. Our art is not now 
French as it was once Italian. 

Perhaps the most powerful influence in this general transforma- 
tion is the work of a single individual, — a quiet, self-contained man 
who seldom speaks and never writes, and who nevertheless has 
accomplished wonders through the very weight and momentum of 
his earnest personality. Augustus Saint Gaudens was born in 
Dublin, Ireland, March i, 1848. His father, Bernard Paul Ernest, a 
shoemaker by trade, was a native of southern France, coming from 
the vicinity of the town of Saint Gaudens, which is in the depart- 
ment of the Haute-Garonne, among the spurs of the Pyrenees. His 
mother, whose maiden name was Mary McGuinness, was a native of 
Dublin. The family came to this country while Augustus, the third 
child, was an infant, and after remaining three months in Boston 
established themselves in New York. 

The boy attended school until he was thirteen, when he went to 
work with a cameo-cutter named Avet, and served a three years' 
apprenticeship. A misunderstanding led to separation at the end of 
the time and he found employment with a shell-cameo cutter named 
Le Breton, with whom he remained for another period of three years. 
During all the time that he was working at the wheel he studied draw- 
ing at night. During the first four years he went to the Cooper 
Union ; the last two were spent in the life classes of the National 
Academy of Design. 

Thus it will be seen he devoted six of the most impressionable 
years of his life to an employment which demands keenness of vision, 
delicacy of touch, and quick judgment, inviting likewise to endless 
refinements of manner and simplifications of method. At the age of 
twenty, or about the time the average educated man begins his special 
studies, this youth was thoroughly grounded in drawing and already 
a master of low relief. He was a master in the sense in which no 
belated beginner ever becomes a master, for with him it was both 
mental and physical mastery: an ability to feel the subject in relief. 



AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUD ENS 28 1 

and a response in deft fingers like that of the accomplished pianist. 
Under favorable conditions this response becomes so immediate and 
so trustworthy that it seems to be spontaneous, a mere reflex of ner- 
vous energy. It was toward such perfection of physical self-pos- 
session that this double training led in the case of Augustus Saint 
Gaudens. The union of the two pursuits was a fortunate one ; few 
youths delight in a systematic study of drawing for its own sake, but 
let them apply their acquired skill to something which interests them, 
and the incentive becomes great. Imagine the enthusiasm of this 
thoughtful boy over his first cameos, and the importance in his eyes 
of those evenings at the Cooper Institute, when he realized that every 
advance in drawing meant a proportionate improvement in his beauti- 
ful art. He was not only acquiring " discipline," but he was weaving 
his two pursuits into one which should gain momentum and effective- 
ness thereby. Not the least of the advantages of this long apprentice- 
ship was the unforgetable lesson of systematic industry — of putting 
in so many hours a day at faithful work. Mr. Saint Gaudens never 
fell into the habit of waiting for " inspiration." He has always found 
enough to do between the visions, and one may even ask if his con- 
tribution of sincere, admirable, and enthusiastic toil has not as much 
to do with his success and with the beauty of his works as have their 
inherent ideas. At any rate, the inspirations have always found him 
" at home " and prepared to give them hospitality. He is one of those 
sculptors who think best with modelling tool in hand. 

But neither ceaseless industry, nor clever fingers, nor keen eyes, 
nor a powerful mind — no, nor all of these together, will suffice to 
make an artist. Mr. Saint Gaudens is the master that he is to-day, 
not because he found these opportunities, — they existed for a hun- 
dred others, — but because the opportunities found him, a nature 
different from all about him. More than any other of his generation 
in this country he possesses that gift so rare in men of northern 
races, the " plastic mind." It is hardly necessary to say that the 
term is not employed here in the frequent and passive sense, as 
something impressionable, but rather in the technical meaning 
which the Germans have long since given it, of that innocency of 
vision which concerns itself with the things themselves, which 
delights in beauty for its own sake rather than in its symbolic or 



282 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

verbal expression. It bespeaks a mind which has an instinctive 
sense of form, and sees things " in the round " with a sort of stereo- 
scopic grasp, corresponding to the sensitiveness of other eyes or 
minds to color, of certain ears to music. Directed by intelligence 
and strengthened by practice, such a nature may ultimately reach 
the development claimed by an enthusiastic eulogist for poor Bar- 
tholomew, who was accredited with " an intuitive perception of the 
strongest and most statuesque aspect of a theme." Given this cast 
of mind, every opportunity counts for progress ; each new problem 
means not only a new achievement, but experience and power gained 
for a hundred other applications. The only necessary boundaries of 
such growth lie in the horizons of human life. 

At the age of nineteen, then, or twenty, the future sculptor was 
already a trained artist who, if he did not fully realize all of the 
power which lay dormant within him, at least had some idea of his 
own abilities, and knew clearly what he desired. It was now his 
good fortune to be able to go to Paris, where after a short period in 
the preparatory school (the " Petite Ecole ") he passed to the atelier 
of M. Jouffroy in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Here he had his 
opportunity with the figure ; one of them each week from life, in 
more and more strenuous competition with others, until the facility 
acquired became something almost incredible. The certainty with 
which the more advanced pupils of this school seize upon the ac- 
tion of a figure, the rapidity with which they swing their little clay 
images into pose and proportion, the accuracy of characterization 
and the perfection of finish accomplished in those six mornings, is 
something astonishing. The value of this facility is not alone a 
question of time saved, — though this is of sufficient importance in 
subsequent undertakings when the young artist is paying the model 
himself, — but lies even more in the mental grasp of the human figure 
resulting from much acquaintance. Its various significant poses 
are like the letters of an alphabet with which one is to spell out 
words and write sentences. It is better to have them in the mind 
than to be obliged to look them up each time in the primer. Saint 
Gaudens had his alphabet well learned when his student days ended 
in Paris. 

It was now 1S70 and he had been in the school three years. 



AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS 



283 



During this time he had had as companions such brilliant French- 
men as Mercie and Bastien-Lepage, men of genius, whose lives were 
wrapped up in their art. It was an inspiring atmosphere. Mercie 
had received the Prix de Rome ; and Saint Gaudens decided that it 
was time to follow him to Italy. He spent another three years in 
that home of beauty, seeing and profiting as one may who has 
already formed a standard of judgment. There is no evidence in his 
work from first to latest that 



meretricious art of any 
have had no appeal for him. 
and independence of mind, 
selected and assimilated 
recognized as worthy, and 
Canova and Thorwaldsen 
his temperament ; the deco- 
developed within him, the 




he was ever swayed by the 
land. Such art seems to 
With extraordinary poise 
with unerring taste, he 
what his mature judgment 
it became part of him. 
meant little to a modern of 
rative sense was too strongly 
love of refinement and 



Fig. 41. — Satnt Gaudens: Admiral Farragut, New York. 

truth too vital to allow him to enjoy their lean compositions 
and their bald generalizations of surface. Deeper than this, how- 
ever, was the inherent honesty of the man which recognized the 
insignificance and superficiality of an art founded upon imitation. 
Far different was the appeal of the early Italians. Their spontaneity, 
their sincerity, their frank delight in their work, took hold of him 
and fascinated his imagination as their rare decorative effects grati- 
fied his artistic sense. Even more than his French colleagues did 
he comprehend them, for he was more nearly akin to them. Mercie 



284 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

was inspired, no doubt, by Donatello and wrought his beautiful 
" David " on lines suggested by the elder teacher. Consciously or 
otherwise, it was an imitation. Saint Gaudens, on the other hand, 
proved himself yet more directly of the inheritance, not by copying 
and by professing, but by treating the subjects about him in the 
very spirit of artistic comprehension which we recognize in the mas- 
ters of the early Renaissance. In other words, he has been of his 
time as they were of theirs, taking the themes of current life, the 
portraits and memorials as they have come to him, and making of 
them works of enduring value. Thus his kinship with the men of 
the fifteenth century is established through family traits rather than 
by means of a garb which may be put on or off ; and these evidences 
of the birthright extend, as we have seen, to the qualifications of a 
refined, decorative sense and to the still rarer capacity for taking 
infinite pains. 

During the three years in Rome, Mr. Saint Gaudens executed 
two statues, entitled " Hiawatha " and " Silence " ; the former was 
bought by Governor Morgan of New York. Returning in 1S74 to 
the United States, his first work was the execution in marble of a 
bust of William M. Evarts. Somewhat later he received an order 
for a large decorative relief for Saint Thomas's Church, New York. 
His style, like his technic, was already formed, and this work 
revealed not only a remarkable felicity of touch, but a delicacy of 
invention full of promise for the future. 1 

In 1S78 came the important commissions for statues of Admiral 
Farragut (Fig. 41) and Robert R. Randall, and the sculptor sailed at 
once for Paris, where he modelled them, exhibiting the " Admiral 
Farragut " in the Salon of 1S80. He also served as a member of the 
International Jury for Fine Arts at the Paris Exposition of 1878. 

Returning with his two statues, Mr. Saint Gaudens spent much 
time in collaboration with the eminent architect, Stanford White ; 



1 An appreciative reference to this, his first public undertaking, will be found in an article 
by Clarence Cook on " Church Decoration," in Scribner^s Magazine of February, 1878, where is 
pictured a fragment of the relief, showing many angels in the act of adoration of the cross. 
Of this beautiful panel the critic writes : — 

" The charm of Saint Gaudens's work is not easy to express. It is, as near as words can 
give tongue to our thinking, its harmonious interweaving of deep, childlike religious fervor 
with a strong buoyant sense of delight in living and loving." 



AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS 285 

together they designed and perfected an appropriate pedestal for the 
" Admiral Farragut." At one time there was a possibility of the 
withdrawal of the figure, since the Park Commissioners of New 
York had enacted a labor-saving rule that all pedestals should be 
alike. The sculptor naturally protested, insisting upon the use of 
the novel design which he had elaborated, and the matter was finally 
compromised by " permitting " its erection. 

Thus it was not until June, 1881, that Mr. Saint Gaudens made 
himself known as a sculptor to the people of the United States. 
With the appearance of the " Admiral Farragut " he became a public 
character and took his place at the head of American sculpture — 
the position which he has retained ever since. His thorough tech- 
nical equipment, combined with a remarkable grasp of the subject, 
had resulted in a figure which was a revelation to our critics. For- 
tunately for our national art there were men here of sufficient taste 
and discernment to appreciate such a truly fine work. From the 
day that the " Admiral Farragut " was set upon its worthy pedestal 
in Madison Square, American monumental art has been colored by 
the dominant influence of Saint Gaudens. Entirely apart from the 
obvious and inevitable plagiarisms, — the brood of younger Farraguts 
and Lincolns which look like distorted casts from his models, — the 
general results of his example have been a higher conception of 
sculptural form, a far more perfect craftsmanship, and a vast infusion 
of vitality into our public memorials. 

These claims require no demonstration, but the last point may 
be made clearer. Eschewing in his works the much-sought illusion 
of life, Saint Gaudens is rewarded for his voluntary sacrifice by a 
pervading animation which can scarcely be defined in words. There 
had been reactions before from the calm and complacent deadness 
of our public effigies. No doubt Clark Mills felt that in his " General 
Jackson" he was uttering a noteworthy and convincing protest against 
the moribund statues of his day. Meade adorned his Lincoln monu- 
ment at Springfield, Illinois, with agitated groups of soldiers who 
threaten to jump from their pedestals. But such paroxysmal dis- 
plays, such uneasiness and unbalance, are not thoroughly satisfying 
in sculpture. They are not convincing, and even those who have 
no formulated confession of faith regarding the statuary's art soon 



286 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

find such effort disagreeable to look upon. Perhaps this assertion 
should be limited to the standpoint of American taste; the modern 
Italians seem to like restless sculpture, and so also, to a certain 
degree, do the French. 

Up to the time of Saint Gaudens and the " Admiral Farragut " 
we have seen but few examples of a happy medium between the con- 
ventional, petrified men of our early national art and the galvanized 
athletes, foredoomed to eternal toil, who succeeded them. Of the 
two kinds one instinctively prefers the former. They are evidently 
and decently dead, and have the good grace to recognize the fact. 
They move not, nor ever could. The others irritate. They are 
tiring themselves so unnecessarily ! It is not life, but Powers's 
clockwork which has gotten into them. If you do not sympathize 
with them, you at least sympathize with yourself. You come to hate 
their insistent stress and wish them consigned to some distant limbo 
along with the " advertising novelties " which they so much resemble. 

The admiral stands perfectly still. His hands are not raised in 
gesture ; his mouth is not open. But he is so much a man that he 
holds one's attention instantly, and he is so quiet that he seems to 
move. In the first place, the artist has mastered his subject and 
conceived the very soul of the man. He has worked from this out- 
ward. He has thought of Farragut as a natural leader, born to 
command, therefore strong and tranquil. He knew him to be a 
cultivated gentleman, a man of character, unostentatious, alert, and 
keen, and all of this he has realized in gesture and expression. He 
has planted him firmly upon his two feet, and these well apart, as in 
Donatello's " St. George " — the attitude of a man who accommodates 
himself to an unstable basis, like the farmer erect in his jolting 
wagon, or the sailor on the swaying deck of a vessel. The right 
arm is dropped by the side in perfect repose, the left hand raised 
almost to the belt, holding thus suspended the traditional spy-glass. 
The lona: line of the one arm and the angle of the other are the com- 
bination which Donatello so delighted in, and which Michael Angelo 
appreciated. More particularly, however, does the modelling of the 
virile face remind us of the art of those modest men of the early 
Renaissance who found their joy in the expression of personality. 
What pleasure there must have been in shaping that fine, strong 



AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS 287 

head, in developing those clear-cut masterful features ! It has been 
done in no perfunctory spirit ; the artist has been full of it. He has 
fairly lived with his subject and in his work. He has taken no liber- 
ties, made no attempt to display his cleverness, but with a noble 
deference has sunken his own personality out of sight in his desire 
to do honor to his hero. In so doing he has shown himself as great 
as his handicraft proves him skilful. 

The sweeping lines and the quiet, well-modelled surfaces lead 
the eye agreeably and inevitably to the fine head. In that serene 
countenance, in those steady eyes, in the unfrowning brow, in the 
firm, unexaggerated mouth, is an intensity of life, a positiveness 
of being which will be found in no American statue of an earlier 
date. This is a man of no other land nor time than our own, and 
the sculptor has revealed him to us as he was, epitomizing into one 
quiet comprehensive attitude and expression the whole character 
and energy of the great admiral. The secret is in the reserve force, 
the look of potential power. The figure does not move, but it is 
ready to do so. The arms are not gesticulating, but they are alive, 
and we half expect to see the telescope lifted. The head is slightly 
turned ; the eyes peer into distance ; the mouth might speak. By 
his very restraint the artist has succeeded in making this statue 
almost quiver with pulsating life. 

The figure presented a perfection of workmanship new to our 
people. For the first time they saw the fluent ease of handling of 
the modern French school combined with a severity of outline be- 
fitting the subject. It is interesting to notice how this severity is 
again modified by the breezy touch of the fluttering coat. It is suffi- 
cient to put the whole work into an unusual key — to suggest out 
of doors and salt sea winds. 

The pedestal was as pronounced a success in its way as was 
the statue. Nothing like it had been seen before in this country, 
and it still remains one of the most perfect examples of monu- 
mental architecture. Mr. Saint Gaudens has shown from the first 
a realization that the effect produced by a work of art depends 
largely upon the way in which it is approached. Treat it with dis- 
respect, and it is robbed of its power; enshrine it appropriately, and 
its gain is remarkable. His monuments are in almost every case 



288 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

object lessons in fitness of setting. This pedestal was the prototype 
of the numerous exedras which have since been scattered over the 
country. Its tranquil lines seemed very novel in those days and 
contrasted strangely with the many-membered bases and ill-propor- 
tioned blocks upon which our bronze worthies had hitherto been 
placed. Of distinctly architectural mass, its members are suavely 
united into a coherent whole. There are no heavy mouldings and 
no sharp edges ; the contour flows with an easy sweep ; the surfaces 
are large, strong, and restful to the eye. The reliefs and the in- 
scriptions are unobtrusive, but so eminently decorative, so happily 
simplified, and withal so original, that they impress a sculptor almost 
as much as does the statue itself. Yet at a distance of a few yards 
they are indistinguishable from the bulk of the gray granite. The 
artist has appreciated his material and its object: he has sketched 
those delightful figures with a few vigorous strokes ; has incised a 
conventional ripple here to suggest the deep, a sword there, in just 
the right place ; has bent sporting fishes into arms for the seat, and 
set a crab in the pavement, as his fancy has dictated, playing with 
the rock, but never cutting it up nor weakening it even in appear- 
ance. 

These touches are distinctly, happily, his own. It is perhaps 
conceivable that the " Farragut " might have been modelled by some 
other sculptor — by one of the best of the Frenchmen; but these 
embellishments could have been conceived by no other mind, could 
have been executed by no other hand than that of Saint Gaudens. 
Upon this, his earliest monumental work, he put his seal and sign- 
manual with as much firmness as he has upon his latest. His artistic 
character was fully pronounced from the beginning. 

The monument has grown smaller as the cliff-like walls of vast 
business houses have climbed steadily higher around it ; but it has 
not diminished in value. It remains to-day one of our greatest and 
most perfect public memorials, celebrating with dignity a worthy 
man and marking a notable day — the beginning of a new era — in 
American sculpture. 1 

1 It is interesting to turn back to the article in Scribner's Magazine of June, 1881, in which 
Mr. Richard Watson Gilder eulogized this monument — an article which deserves to become 
historic because of its sympathetic comprehension and its bold claims for the newly discovered 
master. Time has justified these claims ; but who can say how long a period might have 




SMtTC*. 




FIG. 42. — SAINT GAUDENS: AMOR CARITAS, LUXEMBOURG GALLERY, PARIS. 



AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS 291 

When, in 18S7, Mr. Saint Gaudens's "Lincoln" (Frontispiece) 
was unveiled in Lincoln Park, Chicago, it was hailed as the greatest 
portrait statue in the United States. It has remained so. From its 
exalted conception of the man to the last detail of its simple accesso- 
ries it is a masterpiece. The sculptor's idea was a novel one, which 
may have been suggested by Mr. Volk's " Lincoln " at Springfield, 
Illinois. He introduces the striking adjunct of a large chair, from 
which the President is supposed to have risen. Before it stands the 
gaunt figure with bowed head, as though lost in thought, or pre- 
paring to address a multitude. The left foot is well advanced; the 
left hand grasps the lapel of the coat in a familiar gesture. The 
right is behind the back, affording an agreeable but inconspicuous 
counter-balance to the droop of the head. It has been pointed out 
that the bent left arm gives interest to the lengthy front and at the 
same time suggests an arrested movement of the hand to the brow, 
thus reenforcing the idea of concentration of mind. 

But it is the expression of that strange, almost grotesquely plain, 
yet beautiful face, crowned with tumbled locks, which arrests and 
holds the gaze. In it is revealed the massive but many-sided per- 
sonality of Lincoln with a concreteness and a serene adequacy which 
has discredited all other attempts and, indeed, with the "Admiral 
Farragut," has " brought about a new scale of values " in our portrait 
art. It has been Saint Gaudens's rare talent to give life without 
realism, to offer us " a suggestion of reality shrouded in poetry and 
grace." For even this gnarled form has a grace all its own — the 
" inward grace " which a profound master has apprehended and made 
visible. 

"The pose is simple, natural, individually characteristic — as far 

been required had not the modest sculptor found such champions to vouch for him and for 
his unfamiliar art. Mr. Gilder's appreciative description of statue and pedestal alike would 
illumine these pages ; but quotation must be limited to a minor paragraph. It is sufficient to 
show the authors prophetic insight : — 

"The manner in which Saint Gaudens has handled the lettering is a matter worthy of 
consideration. Should it be popularly considered successful, we are likely before long to find 
any number of more or less fortunate imitations." 

Mr. Saint Gaudens's inscriptions were popularly considered successful, and have revolu- 
tionized lettering upon works of art in the United States. The old-time "scare-heads" of 
various fonts have disappeared, and although no one has learned to make of inscriptions so 
beautiful and organic a decoration as does Mr. Saint Gaudens, there has been a marvellous 
change in the direction of refinement and even of charm. 



292 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

removed from the conventionally dramatic or ' sculpturesque ' as 
from the baldly commonplace. Neither physical facts nor facts of 
costume are palliated or adorned . . . and the figure is idealized 
only by refinement and breadth and vigor in treatment. . . . This 
' Lincoln,' with his firmly planted feet, his erect body, and his squared 
shoulders, stands as a man accustomed to face the people and sway 
them at his will, while the slightly drooped head and the quiet, yet 
not passive, hands express the meditativeness, the self-control, the con- 
scientiousness of the philosopher who reflected well before he spoke, 
of the moralist who realized to the full the responsibilities of utter- 
ance. The dignity of the man and his simplicity; his strength, his 
inflexibility and his tenderness ; his goodness and his courage ; his 
intellectual confidence and his humility of soul ; the poetic cast of 
his thought, the homely rigor of his manner, and the underlying sad- 
ness of his spirit, — all these may be read in the wonderfully real yet 
ideal portrait which the sculptor has created." * 

The sculptor and the architect, Mr. Stanford White, worked 
together here as architect and sculptor always should, with an eye to 
effects at various distances. The statue has the immense advantage 
of a generous and dignified setting, far from the confusion of down- 
town streets. Paths sweep gracefully toward the broad structure, 
which is upon a slight rise of ground and is backed by trees. The 
width of the great exedra is sixty feet and its depth thirty. It is 
flanked by large globes of bronze. The walls bear appropriate 
inscriptions in the lettering which is so constant a feature of Mr. Saint 
Gaudens's decorations. One reads : " With malice toward none, 
with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to 
know the right, let us strive on." The opposite wall bears the quo- 
tation, also taken from the Cooper Union speech of 1S60: "Let us 
have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end 
dare to do our duty as we understand it." 

The massive block on which the figure rests is raised so little above 
the height of the wall that at a distance the various members work 
together for a solidity of effect, one might almost say an inevitableness 
of structure, which is rare indeed in the monumental architecture of 
this country. From the side the bold separation of figure and chair 

1 Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer, in the Century Magazine, Vol. XIII, p. 39. 



AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS 



2 93 



may appear at first odd and even unpleasant, but one soon becomes 
accustomed to it. From the front, the cooperation of the mass and 
lines of the chair is very grateful to the eye, especially at a distance 
where the silhouette of the slender unaided statue would be meagre. 
It gives the volume and the "color" which the old-time sculptors 
sought to gain by hanging cloaks on their figures and by piling 
improbable accessories about them. Upon nearer approach the 
chair fades out of focus ; the magnificent head holds the entire 
attention. 

It seems almost sacrilege to put a mental microscope to our eyes 
in order to examine such a work technically, inch by inch. It may 
be said, however, for the benefit of the student, that its greatness is 
not alone in the idea which gave it birth, nor yet in the controlling 
lines of its pose and the broad planes in which it has been handled. 
Its mastery lies, after all, in no small measure, in those same square 
inches of honest workmanship, each one of which bears the imprint 
of its creator. Every part has been done as well as the sculptor 
knew how, yet has been kept subordinate to the whole. The effect 
is charmingly plastic throughout, as if the clay had never been 
allowed to dry and grow unresponsive. However true the physique 
to its ungainly prototype, there is no leanness in its modelling ; all 
of the forms are enveloped, and all staring details modified, until the 
surface is as harmonious as a bas-relief, yet without weakness. One 
could not have believed it possible to treat the modern costume with 
so much grace. The sculptor has wrought a wonder ; he has actu- 
ally made coat and trousers decorative, and thus taken away the last 
excuse of the mediocre sculptor who pleads their artistic hopelessness. 

The value of so high an example of the monumental art can 
scarcely be overestimated. Its workmanship will be a canon and a 
guide for generations of sculptors to come, and the serene dignity of 
the conception has already had its marked influence on the side of 
gravity and distinction in public works. Strange, is it not, that this 
quiet figure which lifts not a hand nor even looks at you, should 
have within it a power to thrill which is denied the most dramatic 
works planned expressly for emotional appeal ! 



CHAPTER XVI 

AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS (CONTINUED) 

The three earliest statues, the " Farragut," the " Randall," and the 
" Lincoln," are notably quiet in pose. In his next figure, the " Deacon 
Chapin " (Fig. 43) of Springfield, Massachusetts, the sculptor showed 
his imaginative freedom by representing the grim-visaged old Puri- 
tan striding sturdily to or from the meeting-house, " clasping his 
Bible as Moses clasped the tables of the law, and holding his peace- 
ful walking-stick with as firm a grip as the handle of a sword." 1 

The figure is clad in the picturesque costume of three hundred 
years ago — full knee-breeches, a long pointed jacket of many but- 
tons, and an immense cloak thrown widely open by the gesture of 
the arms and the breeze which he arouses in his progress. The 
treatment of all these details is a joy to the eye ; the flow and hang 
of surfaces, the variety of textures, the looseness and freedom extend- 
ing even to the high conical hat which crowns this self-contained 
but energetic personage. How convincing he is ! One feels in that 
austere presence that here is not only Puritanism incarnate, but a 
very real and personal human being. Even down to the puffy hands 
there is ever}' proof that this is ." somebody in particular " ; yet we 
know that the sculptor began with only a name and has evolved and 
perfected this more than plausible individual around it as he built 
up and perfected his clay figure around the skeleton irons. The old 
Greeks took men and made from them noble abstractions ; the mod- 
ern master poses an abstraction and develops it into a living man. 
At least such is the gift of Saint Gaudens. 

But Mr. Saint Gaudens is not only the most skilful of our sculp- 
tors ; he is also the most versatile. He can do more kinds of things 
well than can any other, and likewise he has a wider range of practical 

1 Kenyon Cox, in the Century Magazine, Vol. XIII, p. 30. 
294 



AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS 



295 



ideals. In his memorials to Dr. McCosh and Dr. Bellows, he intro- 
duced a form of portraiture which has won the admiration of artists 
and public alike. The full-length figures stand in comparatively- 
high relief against a lettered and delicately decorated background. 
The portrait is, of course, excellent in each instance, yet the effect is 
less realistic than in the case of a statue. One has a sense of the 
relationship between figure and background, between draperies and 
legend and ornament. 
The " McCosh," with 
its direct front view 
and vertical lines, its 
desk and authoritative 
gesture, is the more 
vivid of the two. The 
" Bellows," in ample 
robes, stands turned, a 
" three-quarter " view, 
and is a triumph 
of sculptural arrange- 
ment and sapient 
handling. The Re- 
naissance ornament 
which surrounds it 
and which, along with 
the inscription, plays 
over the background, 
is as unobtrusive as a 
far-away recessional. 
Its notes are sweet and 
restfully harmonious. These memorials give one the ever quickening 
satisfaction found only in genuine works of art. To the first glance 
they tell their story distinctly yet with an elegant composure ; then 
with inexhaustible resource do they show themselves worthy of much 
study and of many visits, revealing new beauties at each inspection. 
Other work of a still more ideal nature had been hinted at in the 
angel relief of Saint Thomas's Church, which stands in the relation of 
a sweet prologue or " argument " to the sustained achievement of 




Fig. 43. — Saint Gaudens : Deacon Chapin. 



296 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Saint Gaudens's poet-life. Since that day the sculptor has pro- 
duced a number of the most admirable angel forms known to modern 
art. Three of these figures, a celestial choir at the foot of a cross, 
were intended for the decoration of the Morgan monument at Hart- 
ford, Connecticut, and were unfortunately destroyed by fire. A modi- 
fication of one of them has become the gracious " Amor Caritas " 
(Fig. 42), of which a bronze copy has been added to the collection of 
the Luxembourg, along with a number of Mr. Saint Gaudens's low re- 
liefs. Yet others, wingless, but evidently of the same heavenly brood, 
are the caryatides of a mantel in one of the Vanderbilt residences. 1 
Nothing more beautiful than these figures has been conceived in 
this country. It will be observed, even without the side-lights of Mr. 
Kenyon Cox's article in the Century Magazine, that the exquisite 
creature there pictured is not an impersonal figure, built up by 
formula and culminating in a conventional head. It is more indi- 
vidual and more fascinating with its vague air of portraiture than 
any purely extemporized head could be ; it possesses something of 
the subtlety and illusiveness of real womanhood. One cannot love 
a diagram nor a lay-figure, however graceful ; but one could easily 
fall in love with this flower of fairest womankind, even though we 
know her to be but a sculptor's dream. 

It will be remembered that Saint Gaudens's early tutelage was 
entirely in low relief. It is not strange, then, that he remains 
to-day our leader in this fascinating but perplexing department of 
sculpture, nor that he delights in turning his hand to it from time to 
time. His eminence in this field may be inferred from his gen- 
erous representation in the museum of the Luxembourg. These 
plaques are little jewels, or rather, precious pictures fashioned with 
delicate use of light and dark, and always with thought of the effect 
of the whole rather than of the imitation of any particular detail. 
They are unusually rich in " color," and the skill with which the draw- 
ing and planes are lost and found is extraordinary. It not only grati- 
fies the sensitive eye, but confers an air of absolute spontaneity. 
With Mr. Saint Gaudens this quality never degenerates into mere 
picturesqueness ; firmness is never wanting as a foil ; an emphatic 
plane, a powerful stroke now and then, marks the underlying struc- 

1 See illustration in the Century Magazine, of November. 1887. 



AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS 297 

ture and gives one an unconscious sense of security, a feeling which 
is very real and grateful, however unanalyzed. 

Such methods naturally struck certain of the veterans as revolu- 
tionary, or at least as strangely heterodox, and Mr. Saint Gaudens's 
reliefs have occasioned no little rubbing of eyes. Their charm is 
incontestable, however, and they have won the day for plasticity and 
freedom. Among the most noted of his achievements in this refined 
art may be mentioned the well-known tributes to his friends, Bastien- 
Lepage and Robert Louis Stevenson, the delightful portraits of the 
children of Prescott Hall Butler and of Jacob H. Schiff, portraits of 
Miss Violet Sargent, of Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer, of William 
D. Howells and his daughter, and many others, not forgetting the 
medal of the World's Columbian Exposition. 

In Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D. C, is one of Mr. 
Saint Gaudens's most beautiful and least known works, the strange 
figure called variously " Grief " and " Death," and sometimes, more 
fitly, " The Peace of God " ( Fig. 44). It is a memorial to a Mrs. 
Adams, a woman who lived and died, — and the monument says no 
more. Indeed, not even that, since it bears no inscription of any 
kind. For once even the delicate letterinor in which Saint Gaudens 
delights is omitted as superfluous. This memorial speaks a lan- 
guage of its own, which leaps directly to the soul and requires no 
halting translation into sounds articulate. 

No statue could be more effectively placed, although it has to be 
discovered by each visitor. No path, no guide-board, leads to it. 
One wanders among the white slabs and truncated columns and 
draped urns until finally his search is rewarded by the sight of a 
mass of evergreens — a circle without gateway. Pressing through 
a rift in this wall he finds himself within an enclosure of dense 
foliage and face to face with a bronze figure which seems to be 
alive, whose deep-shadowed countenance photographs itself at once 
upon the memory for all time. 

The monument, primarily a great slab of polished granite, forms 
one side of a hexagonal plot of perhaps twenty feet in diameter. 
Against this slab and facing the centre leans the unearthly genius 
of the place. Opposite and occupying three sides of the hexagon is 
a massive stone bench. Outside of the wall of green rise forest 



298 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

trees of considerable height, extending their long, thin arms over 
the sacred earth. In this little space one is completely isolated 
from the world. Above is the blue sky; all around, the rustling 
screen ; before one, that figure. The unknown dreamer, with head 
half hidden in drapery and listless hands, sits like one of the old- 
time fateful Three — a sibyl peering through closed eyes into 
futurity. Or shall we call her rather the modern expression of 
Nirvana — a soul returned upon itself, " petrified by. the sentiment 
of the infinite," reposing in measureless peace ? 

Just what he has meant the great artist has carefully abstained 
from telling us, but that he has charged the figure with significance, 
at least with the appearance of meaning, cannot be gainsaid. It is as 
perplexing as the look of Leonardo's " Mona Lisa." Some one has 
written of it despairingly : " It appears to know all there is to know, 
and is a positive and negative to every sentiment one can suggest 
concerning the unknown." Baffled, but ever fascinated, one lingers 
there, indifferent to the flight of time, dimly conscious of the song of 
birds overhead and of the shadows of leaves trembling upon the 
Silent One opposite. Strangers who stroll in speak to one another 
in subdued tones and move away softly. The bronze figure with 
closed eyes compels it ; one is awed into reverence. You may rec- 
ognize beautifully proportioned mouldings on the granite back- 
ground, or may perceive that the shrouded form is seated upon a 
boulder of different material ; that the modelling of the drapery is 
very broad and coarse in texture ; but these things seem to mean 
very little in this presence. One feels no concern in trifles when 
confronting eternity. And that is where one finds himself when 
under the spell of this amazing work. 

Like an uncrowned king or a prophet of old sits Peter Cooper 
in bronze, before the building which is his monument, the Cooper 
Institute in New York City. Here, as always, the sculptor has done 
something more than to place an effigy upon a pedestal, like a man 
caught up from the crowded street and forced into momentary, un- 
willing prominence. He not only makes his subject worthy of our 
homage through his dignified generalization, but he enhances this 
dignity many fold by its surroundings. One does not " happen 
upon" this statue of the great philanthropist; one approaches it 




FIG. 44. — SAINT GAUDENS: ADAMS MEMORIAL, WASHINGTON. 



AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS 30 1 

and is conscious of the approach. In its classic niche, with a back- 
ground and adjuncts of admirably proportioned architecture, the 
figure becomes more than human, a monumental apparition, a veri- 
table presence, majestic in its kindly serenity. 

It cannot be claimed that Mr. Saint Gaudens is equally inspired 
at all times ; no man of genius can be. Aside from its excellent 
workmanship the Garfield Memorial in Fairmount Park, Philadel- 
phia, — a bust of the President and a standing figure of the Republic, 
— is interesting because of its maker rather than because of its 
poetry, and even more markedly does the Logan statue of Chicago 
show the result of a somewhat unsympathetic treatment. To be 
sure, it is one of the finest equestrian statues in this country, and it 
would be rash to attempt to name a sculptor who could have treated 
the subject better or with more of the bravura which was deemed 
essential. The point is that bravura is not Saint Gaudens's natural 
expression ; he has acted it well, but in the Shaw Memorial and the 
" Sherman " he is more truly himself, and therefore vastly more con- 
vincing. 

The gallant Logan is shown bareheaded, grasping a flag which 
he has seized from a falling color-bearer; the horse, a splendid 
animal, is powerfully reined in and paws the ground with nervous 
impatience. The motive of the work is thoroughly martial. The 
sculptor himself has said of it : " To that end I concentrated my 
energies, and everything else was subordinated to that idea. I 
wished to present a figure that would embody the highest type of 
the warrior — one of fierce, indomitable energy and fiery patriotism, 
such as General Logan is known to have been. If I have achieved 
that end, it is that I have produced those characteristics of General 
Logan which were brought out in striking effect in the incident 
before Atlanta which is illustrated in the subject." 

In spite of our suspicion that this enthusiasm is a little factitious, 
the effect of the statue is masterly. It offers a remarkable union of 
the dash and impetuosity of the subject with the inexorable limita- 
tions of monumental art. Vitality and self-restraint are harmonized 
in perfect balance. Nearer approach brings the same aesthetic 
pleasure which we find in Saint Gaudens's smallest relief. Each 
stroke is as it should be. Nothing is neglected, yet nothing is over- 



302 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

insistent, detail being subordinated to the general result. Even 
the brazen wreaths about the base, so admirably decorative, do not 
cry out for recognition. 

To many the greatest and most original of all of Mr. Saint 
Gaudens's works is the Shaw Memorial in Boston (PL VIII). 
Colonel Robert Gould Shaw was a gallant young officer selected by 
the governor of Massachusetts to lead the first regiment of colored 
troops organized in that state. The commission was an unusually 
perilous one. There was a memorable departure from Boston on 
May 28, 1S63, and before the summer was half passed the wires 
brought the tidings of an attack upon Fort Wagner, and of the 
death and burial of Colonel Shaw among scores of his dusky fol- 
lowers. Such was the story which the monument was intended to 
commemorate. It was not to be raised to one man alone, but to the 
memory of all who shared in this episode of the Rebellion. The 
artist has been able to lift it to a still higher significance while ably, 
poignantly recalling the specific incident. 

The first thought was an equestrian statue, but this was soon dis- 
carded as limiting the honor to one man. The idea of an equestrian 
figure, backed by a column of marching soldiers in low relief, next 
presented itself, and was put in execution only to be remodelled sub- 
sequently in much higher relief. For twelve years the project grew, 
not only in the sculptor's mind, but in tangible form, with radical 
changes and improvements from year to year, the while other works 
of simpler motif were being finished and leaving the studio. Well 
was the artist rewarded for his seeking, and the committee for their 
waiting. The relief, when inaugurated on Decoration Day, 1897, 
and when shown in plaster at the French Exposition of 1900, re- 
ceived the plaudits of those best capable of appreciating noble work. 
It is one of the most impressive monuments of modern times — one 
of the masterpieces of the nineteenth century. While it speaks an 
unusual language, the Shaw Memorial is notable for being distinc- 
tively American. It would be difficult to trace its ancestry outside of 
our country. There is nothing like it, or even suggestive of it, in 
the annals of art. 

A very large relief in bronze, perhaps fifteen by eleven feet in 
dimensions, containing many figures of soldiers who march across 



AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS 303 

the narrow stage, the foreground occupied largely by a young officer 
on horseback ; above and vague, like a cloud, a floating female form 
which points onward — this is what appears at first glance, this 
and an impression of many shouldered muskets cutting sharp and 
inexorable athwart the metal sky; a feature almost as striking as the 
forest of lances in Velasquez's picture, the " Surrender at Breda." 
Nearer view reveals new beauties. The scene is evidently the depar- 
ture of the colored troops ; the leader a young man of noble mien 
who recognizes the significance of the fateful day. With head 
square set upon the broad shoulders and sad eyes unflinching, he 
rides steadily to his fate. The fiery horse is a splendid sculptural 
achievement, clean cut and magnificently wrought, but, conspicuous 
as he is, easily dominated by the presence of the silent rider. Then, 
behind and across the entire background, march with swinging tread 
the black men, their muskets over shoulders which bend under the 
burdensome knapsacks. They are equipped for a long journey from 
which not many will return. The movement of this great composi- 
tion is extraordinary. We almost hear the roll of the drums and the 
shuffle of the heavy shoes. It makes the day of that brave departure 
very real again. 

Mr. William Howe Downes calls attention to the effect produced 
on the mind by this suggestion of unbroken movement, picturing the 
vision evoked by its endless, irresistible sequence : — 

" And the black rank and file ! With what a wonderful sense of 
human pathos, of fateful forward movement ; with what wavelike 
rhythmic momentum, as of marching legions tramping southward ; 
with what a suggestion of the slow but irresistible grinding of the 
mills of God, has the artist clothed these humble, united, obedient, 
devoted, doomed men ! Are they not exalted by this deep, serious 
art to a plane of Egyptian dignity? Does not the martyrdom 
which overhangs them ennoble them ? Unutterable sadness, sub- 
lime resignation, and an invincible determination is visible in all 
these set countenances, all facing the same way, all looking toward 
the South, all intent on a great final business and a glorious death. 
The impression is not so much that of a group of individuals as of 
a whole army, a vast, endless, countless host, moving like a huge 
human tide, hardly of its own volition, unhasting but not to be 



304 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

stayed short of the goal, a mere complex instrument in the hands 
of Providence, rolling on like a mighty flood." J 

Such is the orchestral accompaniment of this great work, the 
murmurous undertone which is awakened in one's mind when even 
a mere reproduction of the relief is seen. What is it that gives 
this power to a bronze panel ? Why should it bring dimness to the 
eyes and a grip to the heart ? On what ground do men call it the 
highest expression of American art? Certainly it is not because of 
the workmanship alone ; muskets and trousers and varied African 
types, however perfectly modelled, could not thrill us thus ; neither 
could the splendid steed nor even the physical presence of the hero 
who rides. 

After all, it is the largeness of the man behind the work, of the 
artist-mind which saw more in that scene than uniforms and accoutre- 
ments, or types of human kind, who felt the greater import of it ; 
who bore it for twelve years upon his mind and heart, studying, 
dreaming, living with its great idea until it was purged of all mere 
accidents of the moment, all qualifying phrases, and finally rose spirit- 
ualized and perfected above the earth, the fit and adequate expression 
of America's new-born patriotism. 

Mr. Saint Gaudens modelled from life many years ago the " Gen- 
eral Sherman," which stands to-day in the Pennsylvania Academy 
of Fine Arts. It is an astonishing work ; an unexpected meeting 
with it is like suddenly coming face to face with a real man of power- 
ful and impressive personality. The sculptor made some sacrifice in 
order to convey this look of intense life. The bust has little of his 
usual suavity of handling, which he evidently found inconsistent 
with the character of the nervous, restless old general. The touch 
is all "staccato." The chin is aggressive, the tight mouth defiant, 
the nose inquiring, the eye like an eagle's ; the beard is short and 
stubbly, the hair writhes and twists from very virility ; the coat lapels 
are angular and stand out sharply ; even the buttons seem proud of 
their relationship. Quite in harmony with these features is the play 
of vivid lights and shadows. They are restless and keen, abrupt to 
picturesqueness. If ever there were excuse for deserting the tradi- 
tions of classic art and italicizing a character, — for punctuating with 

1 -Twelve Great Artists,"' Boston. 1900. 




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AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS 307 

hammer strokes its individuality, — it was in the case of this intense, 
irrepressible, " driving," nineteenth-century American. 

Out of this study grew that more recent work, the Sherman 
Memorial (Fig. 45), which was unveiled in Central Park, New 
York, on Decoration Day, 1903. Thanks to his knowledge of his 
subject, the sculptor was able to present the rugged warrior with 
convincing faithfulness of portraiture ; but beyond its accuracy of 
feature and even the more elusive "air" of the man, this remarkable 
group has a poetic inspiration which is most distinctly embodied in 
its winged " Victory," but which permeates the whole achievement. 
Mr. Saint Gaudens has revised his work critically and made various 
changes since it was first shown at the Paris Exposition of 1900, 
but such modifications were necessitated by the author's tempera- 
ment rather than by any evident defects in modelling. The Parisian 
artists acknowledged with enthusiasm the beauty and distinction 
which raised the " Sherman " far above the entire category of eques- 
trian statues there, excepting that gem of modern French art, the 
" Joan of Arc " by Paul Dubois. 

Indeed, the sculptor's conception has a spiritual quality which 
enters into few works of this era. It follows naturally that the 
feeling of flesh does not predominate; the only criticism that one 
heard passed upon the group in Paris was that it seemed to some 
a little "lean." It is not lean, but is intentionally and consistently 
slender in its elements. The aggregate presents, nevertheless, an 
imposing mass. The " Victory " is not related to those ample de- 
moiselles who thrive and bloom so unstintedly upon the average 
French monument. She is not a real woman, who takes the field 
with Gallic enthusiasm for the picturesque ; she is a spirit presence, 
the personification of a force, rather than an individual. Within the 
lines of a definite sculptural mass the artist has created the miracle 
of an ethereal form. She is necessarily in human shape ; one sees 
her, yet the impression is rather of a presence felt. With extraor- 
dinary delicacy the artist has known how to suggest and to de- 
velop this conception within our minds. One of the secrets of this 
power is the fact that there is no display of physical peculiarities 
forced upon our attention. Saint Gaudens's " Victory " differs from 
the deep-chested, generous-limbed " Nike " of Samothrace as our 



3o8 HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

conception of a spirit differs from the Greek ideals of the immortal 
gods. She is an expression of our race and time. Saint Gaudens 
is unsurpassed and unique in this form of expression. The "Vic- 
tory " is but another phase of that haunting ideal of his which first 
revealed itself in the angel choir of Saint Thomas's Church, and 
which reached its hitherto highest expression in the " Amor Caritas." 
Such an ideal is the artist's rarest gift. One might even say that it 
is of greater value than knowledge or skill, were it possible to dis- 
associate thought from the means of expression. But there is no 
feeling of inadequacy in the structure of this figure. If there were, 
it would thwart its purpose ; one would think of the body. The 
sculptor has known how to give it strength and yet entirely to sub- 
ordinate the physical. No detail strikes one with emphasis ; one 
sees and remembers only the earnest, inspired look, the outstretched 
arm which seems to command, the majestic wings, and the beauty 
of long, sweeping folds of drapery. What the costume, the manner 
of coiffure, the kind of shoes — these things one does not notice. 
The particulars make no impression. One only knows that here is 
a noble being which leads on and ever on to triumphs ever new, 
but under her guidance inevitable. 

General Sherman's tall figure is partially enveloped in his mili- 
tary cloak, which is filled out by the breeze. They are advancing. 
He leans forward, his head bare, hat in hand. His face is serenely 
confident, almost smiling. Why should he not be confident when 
led by Victory ! The general's horse is built like himself, of struc- 
ture spare but strong. It is a real horse, a serviceable horse, with 
an individuality as distinct as that of his rider. The entire group 
is exquisitely modelled. Every touch is significant and gives proof 
of Saint Gaudens's artistic conscience. The work was executed in 
Paris, whither the sculptor went in 1897 for a protracted visit. 
With the Shaw Memorial, the " Amor Caritas," and a collection of 
low reliefs, it won for its author the highest award of the exposition. 

It was first seen in this country at the Pan-American Exposition 
of 1 90 1, where, most fortunately placed, its effect was even more 
impressive than in Paris. In the Palais des Beaux- Arts it rose 
above a forest of plastic creations, competing necessarily with thou- 
sands of other attractions. At Buffalo, on the other hand, it was 



AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS 309 

given an ideal location. Facing the Art building, but at a con- 
siderable distance from all structures, with a glassy lake and billows 
of green foliage as a background, it formed the natural centre of a 
great picture. Its pedestal was at the head of the stairs which led 
to a boat landing. The line of lame trees which border the lake 
being interrupted at this point, descended gently through grada- 
tions of shrubbery of diminishing height, forming a wide notch 
or bow in which the group seemed suspended. Beyond this was 
the mirror of smiling waters, then the distant bank, and finally 
the arch of blue sky, against which was silhouetted the great 
white mass. The effect was indescribably fine. No one could 
see that monument as it stood in the Buffalo park without real- 
izing how much the beauty of even a masterpiece is enhanced by 
fit surroundings. 

Posterity may select the Shaw Memorial as Saint Gaudens's 
greatest work. In some ways it is the most original thing that 
he has done ; but repeated views of the " Sherman " confirm and 
strengthen one's first impression that it will rank among the 
sculptor's highest achievements. The suspicion of leanness of 
modelling which troubled a little in the cutting light of the expo- 
sition palace has quite disappeared. In the diffused illumination 
of outdoor daylight, and even in the direct rays of the sun, horse 
and rider and winged guide are all like a splendid vision in which 
is nothing mean or trifling. 



CHAPTER XVII 

DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH 

The boy-life of Daniel Chester French was a fortunate one. 
Every influence of family and of environment was favorable to the 
development of a sensitive, poetic nature. As his years have not 
been accentuated with notes of stress and hardship, so his art is 
genial, sympathetic, dignified ; above all, serene. It expresses 
admirably his character. 

Mr. French was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, Apr. 20, 1850. 
His parents, Henry Flagg and Anne (Richardson) French, were of 
substantial New England families, connected with those of Daniel 
Webster and John G. Whittier. One of his grandfathers was chief 
justice, the other attorney-general, of New Hampshire, and his father 
was a lawyer, a judge, and assistant secretary of the United States 
Treasury. He was one of the founders of the public library at 
Exeter, and took the lead in planting the town with trees. His 
artistic instinct showed itself in a love of poetry and a taste for land- 
scape gardening. His descendants testify with pride that " he beau- 
tified every place in which he lived." 

The youth showed no special taste for sculpture, and made no 
display of artistic ability until he had reached his nineteenth year. 
Early friends remember him as a handsome and gentle child, of 
sunn}' disposition, bright and witty, like all of the family, but by no 
means decided as to his future work. His most pronounced taste 
was a liking for birds and for the art of the taxidermist. It was not 
until he had spent a year of study in the Institute of Technology 
and a period of work upon his father's farm that he found his true 
vocation. One day he emerged from his room with a grotesque 
figure of a frog in clothes, which he had carved from a turnip. His 
discerning stepmother is said to have exclaimed upon seeing it, 

3 ID 




PLATE IX. 
FRENCH: DEATH AND THE YOUNG SCULPTOR. 



The boy-lit. 
Every influf 
developmenl 
been 

gen; dignified; abo- 

admiral aracter. 

Mr. French was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, Apr. 20, 1850. 
His parents, Henry Flagg and Anne (Richardson) French, were of 
substantial New England families, connected with those of Daniel 
Webster and John G. Whittier. One of his grandfathers was chief 
justice, the other attorney-general, of New Hampshin 

and assistant secretary of the 
Treasi ■ ■ one of the founders of th 

the lead in planting the town with trees. His 

love of poetry and a taste for land- 

with pride that " he beau- 

-pi-,, d made no 

Ear 

■ 
mear 

1 : i s not 






until he had spent , istil logy 

a period of work uj und his true 

1. One day hi n with a grotesque 

figure of a f clothes, from a turnip. His 

is said nned upon seeing it, 

UOY 3fl«T- QMA- HTA3Q : HOWafH 



DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH 31 1 

" Daniel, there is your career." His father was not less appreciative, 
and thenceforth the future sculptor never lacked for encouragement. 
Miss May Alcott, the Amy of " Little Women," and the artist of her 
family, was at that time teaching drawing in Boston, and as she and 
Daniel's father travelled to and fro upon the cars, they conversed 
upon the future of the young artist. She saw his work, was much 
interested in it, and offered to lend him tools for modelling. The 
French family lived on a farm near Concord ; and the evening 
when Daniel was bidden by his father to harness the horse and to 
go and bring from the village Miss Alcott's materials is still a mem- 
orable one in their annals. Upon his return the family gathered 
around the dining table, and all had an evening of modelling, Daniel 
making a dog's head. It is a curious fact that he who now employs 
another to make the animals of his groups began his own artistic 
career with the modelling of dogs, birds, and other animals. 

Now followed enthusiastic study, wild flights of fancy, and oft- 
times the crushing defeats of untutored genius. The horizons of 
youth are, in one sense, so narrow, its moments of failure seem so 
final and irrevocable ! Poetic natures do not always expend them- 
selves in yearning, however; they may be sensible and wholesome. 
It was fortunate that Daniel French did not begin with Venuses and 
Apollos, that he delighted rather in humbler subjects. Best of 
his youthful works was a very amusing pair of love-sick owls, 
which has been reproduced in many lands. One remembers also a 
Rogers-like " Dolly Varden " group, elaborated to the last degree. 
Presently the young artist turned his new-found skill to portraits — 
busts and reliefs of members of the household, and of accommo- 
dating neighbors. When nineteen years of age he made a visit to 
relatives in Brooklyn, and had the good fortune to gain access to 
the studio of J. Q. A. Ward. Here he worked for a month, and 
thus began a life-long friendship with that eminent sculptor. Slight 
indeed was the schooling which prepared Mr. French for his 
remarkable career. There was no possibility of study from nature, 
and Boston had no classes, even casts from the antique being scarce. 
For instruction the young sculptor had to content himself with Dr. 
Rimmer's courses in artistic anatomy, and an occasional view of 
the statuary of the Athenaeum and the few public monuments. In 



312 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

1870 he was in Chicago on a visit to his brother, Mr. W. M. R. 
French, now director of the Art Institute of that city, at which 
time he received his first paid order, one for a bas-relief portrait. It 
was also in Chicago, in the old Crosby Opera House, that he made 
his first public exhibition — a bas-relief of his sister Sarah. 

Mr. French was but twenty-three years of age when he received 
his first really important commission, that of the " Minute-Man. " 
This figure is sufficiently noteworthy to repay our attention. A 
small sum of money had been left by a former citizen of Concord 
for a monument to be placed upon the exact spot where the militia and 
the minute-men had fought in 1 775. The site had been acquired, and 
all things were now in readiness. The sculptor proved to be close at 
hand. With the advice and under the direction of his father, young 
French submitted a design for the monument, — which had previ- 
ously passed the ordeal of family criticism, — to the town meeting, in 
March, 1873. At the same time he offered to make the statue in 
plaster, of heroic size, and if the authorities would appropriate $400 
for expenses, he would deliver the statue to the town ; if it chose to 
pay an additional sum for his work, he would be grateful, and if not 
he would endeavor to be content. This modest proposition was 
seconded by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Judge Hoar, and others, with 
the result that the favored sculptor was soon enthusiastically 
engaged upon the work in the Studio building in Boston. - 

All the American world knows of the successful completion 
of the statue; but when it was unveiled, on April 19, 1S75, the 
artist, who had put his best endeavor into it, was not present, having 
already sailed for Italy. It was a pity that he should have missed 
that historic occasion in which the dedication of his work was so 
prominent and essential a part. Emerson made a brief speech, 
Lowell read the poem, and George William Curtis, who that da}' 
pronounced the statue " masterly," delivered the oration to a great 
and distinguished assembly. 

When it is recalled that up to this time Mr. French had had no 
instruction beyond the month in Mr. Ward's studio and the anatomy 
lectures, his triumph is seen to be an extraordinary one. It is inter- 
esting to note what the figure, so alert and so American in character, 
owes to its senior colleague, the " Apollo Belvidere." It would never 




FIG. 46. — FRENCH: GALLAUDET GROUP, WASHINGTON. 



DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH 315 

be suspected, but a large cast of the " Apollo " was Mr. French's sole 
model. He made good use of it, although the poses are not identical. 
It speaks well for the untutored young artist that he was able to 
impress upon his very first work so much of his own personality and 
so much of the spirit required that he completely concealed his 
classic model. How sensible and contained he was in it all, one can 
best appreciate by contrasting his stern, tense embodiment of pa- 
triotism with the usual exuberant productions of beginners. The 
" Minute-Man " has nothing of their artistic lawlessness ; neither 
does it show aught of that other failing of inexperience — the timid 
clinging to another man's work. Mr. French had definite notions 
even at the beginning of his career, and on all occasions took a 
decided and straightforward course. He had the intelligence to 
appreciate his subject, the imagination to conceive it vividly and 
simply, and the skill — or perhaps we should rather say, considering 
his youth, the ingenuity — to express it in adequate terms. 

While the movement of the two figures is essentially the same, a 
number of changes were necessary to convert the sun-god into an 
"embattled farmer "of 1775. The level left arm of the "Apollo" 
was judiciously lowered that the hand might rest upon the plough 
which it is about to relinquish. The right hand grasps a long flint- 
lock rifle. The rather meagre sleeves are rolled up to the elbows, 
showing arms not over ample in their modelling. The fine head is 
turned, Apollo-wise, to the left. The expression is strong yet unex- 
aggerated, a striking instance of moderation in a young artist, who 
is generally tempted to over-emphasize. The picturesque effect is 
much enhanced by the long hair in a queue and the broad-brimmed 
hat turned up on one side. The high, well-wrinkled boots contribute 
their effective note, and a coat, or cloak, thrown over the deserted 
plough, adds to the volume of the mass. On the whole it was and 
is a figure to be enthusiastic about. The applause which went 
up on its unveiling was not the usual perfunctory hurrah. Daniel 
French's first statue was clone with conviction and charged with 
emotion. Possibly he has never shown quite so much feeling since. 

During his sojourn of a year in Florence Mr. French lived with 
the family of Mr. Preston Powers, but most of his work was done in 
the studio of Thomas Ball, for whose dignified art he has always 



316 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

expressed great regard. Excepting this brief study-time in Italy, Mr. 
French is self-trained, having gained a great amount of practice dur- 
ing the following years in the execution of large decorative works 
for various public buildings. Among these were figures and pedi- 
mental groups for the St. Louis Custom House (1877), the Phila- 
delphia Court House (1SS3), and Boston Post Office (1885). The 
advantages of such experience with large problems can scarcely be 
overestimated. It was an opportune time, and the knowledge 
acquired through those practical experiments has counted in every- 
thing which the artist has since undertaken. 

It is not quite just to overlook a " Sleeping Endymion," a perfectly 
legitimate and, in style, inevitable product of the Florentine year. 
This muscular youth, with his conventionally classic head, his care- 
fully arranged limbs and sharp-cut drapery, is not so good as 
Rinehart's, but it is better than the average product of American skill 
and enthusiasm in combination with Florentine methods. It must be 
acknowledged that it is quite the most uninteresting of the sculptor's 
works, a woeful falling off in inspiration from the virile, original 
power of the " Minute- Man." If the Italian atmosphere was 
thus disastrous to an individuality as sincere and authentic as that 
of Daniel French, what was to be expected when weak, colorless 
natures were immersed in it ? Is it any wonder that the inverte- 
brates of art have found there a vast burying-ground of all their 
ambitions? Mr. French's good angel, or good sense, or mayhap a 
mere instinct of self-preservation, brought him back safely and 
promptly to these shores, to the very great advantage of American art. 

In 1S79 it was the sculptor's privilege to model from life a bust 
of Ralph Waldo Emerson. The work was done in Mr. Emerson's 
study, and Mr. French favors us with a short account of this in- 
teresting occasion : " I think it is very seldom that a face combines 
such vigor and strength in the general form with such exceeding 
delicacy and sensitiveness in the details. James speaks somewhere 
of ' the over-modelled American face.' No face was ever more 
modelled than Mr. Emerson's; there was nothing slurred, nothing 
accidental, but it was like the perfection of detail in great sculpture 
— it did not interfere with the grand scheme. Neither did it interfere 
with an almost childlike mobility that admitted of an infinite variety 



DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH 



317 



of expression and made possible that wonderful lighting up of the 
face so often spoken of by those who knew him. It was the attempt 
to catch that glorifying expression that made me despair of my bust. 
When the work was approaching completion, Mr. Emerson looked at 
it after one of the sittings and said, ' The trouble is, the more it 
resembles me, the worse it looks.' " It will be remembered, however, 
that the sage finally gave the bust his unqualified approval in the oft- 
quoted remark, " That is the face that I shave." 

Mr. French's heads are invariably fine, intellectual, and command- 
ing. His exceptional privilege of intimacy with the choicest spirits 
and noblest types of our country has given him a great advantage 
over many artists. It provides him a mental gallery, as it were, of 
all that is best. The portraits of Emerson and Alcott are singu- 
larly delicate and appreciative studies. They bear the look of eleva- 
tion which we attribute to such as climb the heights, yet they are 
intensely human. Mr. French, in his use of the portrait bust for 
monumental purposes, with subordinate decorative figures, as in the 
John Boyle O'Reilly Memorial and the Richard M. Hunt Memorial, 
has solved with distinguished success one of the most difficult prob- 
lems of modern sculpture. The bust gives us the essential, the 
intellectual side of the man, with its personal interest, while there is 
an actual gain in concentration through the absence of the insistent 
details of coat and pantaloons, seams and buttonholes, shoes and 
shoestrings — things which one scarcely notices upon the living, 
moving man, but which fairly clamor for attention upon the surface 
of the petrified effigy. 

The ideal-portrait statue of John Harvard at Cambridge was 
executed in 1S82, and may be called the last of Mr. French's early 
works ; at least from this point we find the suaver touch of a matured 
artist. The slight angularity, the artistic severity of this figure, do 
not seem out of place in such a subject. One feels the Puritan 
inheritance in its very contours, yet the ascetic face is sweet and 
winning. If the artist had not made this statue for John Harvard, 
he might have called it "John Milton," and we should have been 
satisfied, so refined is the ideal, yet withal so intense and so personal. 
The deficiencies of execution, if we may thus characterize the con- 
sistent leanness of its drapery and the general tightness of drawing, 



3i8 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



are merely superficial ; the " Harvard " is a distinctly sculptural con- 
ception. The pose of the head is admirably expressed; the arms, and 
particularly the sensitive hands, could not have been better placed. 
There is nothing shrinking or lean about their lines. They have 
been as carefully arranged as were those of the " Endymion " ; but here 
one is not aware of the effort. Conception, composition, construc- 
tion, every step has been " right." 




Fig. 47. — French: O'Reilly Monument, Boston. 

In the summer of 1SS8 Mr. French went to Paris to model his 
important statue of General Cass of Michigan, the marble of which 
now stands in the National Hall of Statuary at Washington. Like 
a man who knows what he wants, and is not dazzled by the merely 
superficial, Mr. French set about assimilating the best that is in 
modern Parisian art. He had not come too soon ; his artistic 
character was already formed and had asserted itself strongly in 
many original productions. Neither did he stay too long. He is, 



DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH 319 

and ever will be, American to the core. But he learned there, in that 
one piece of work, and during those few months of observation, what 
was destined to influence and perfect everything which was to follow. 
Knowing his own needs, he obtained more in that brief period than 
it is possible to acquire in years of immature strivings. 

The " General Cass " did not altogether please some of the Paris 
sculptors. Mr. French has related how M. Aizelin criticised its 
ponderous and solid pose, with the weight carried equally on the 
two legs. He adds with a smile that the eminent sculptor evidently 
thought that he "did not know any better." But like Saint Gaudens 
with his " Farragut," Mr. French had a sturdy subject to deal with, 
and selected the position best suited to express the character of the 
man. With all its solidity the artist treated so well the surface and 
made the flesh so mellow and the drapery so crisp and full of color 
that the figure easily takes its place among the best portrait statues 
of the country. It unites admirable characterization with no less 
attractive technic. The first quality the artist had already shown; 
the second was the result of the Parisian experience. This figure is 
one of the few good things in that extraordinary collection of 
the Capitol. Among its hard, conventional companions it stands 
almost alone. It has an individuality, an equipoise, and a techni- 
cal perfection undreamed of by the earlier generation of American 
sculptors. 

From that day we have a succession of notable achievements 
from Mr. French. Subjects permitting of more poetic expression 
than the " General Cass " have since come to him. The next one 
of importance was the Gallaudet group, one of the most pleasing 
portrait monuments of our time (Fig. 46). It was modelled in the 
year 1888, and now decorates the Columbian Institution for Deaf 
Mutes in Washington. The famous teacher of the deaf and dumb 
is shown seated in a chair with a little girl of eight or ten years 
standing beside him. It was the good doctor's interest in this child, 
Alice Cogswell, which led him to devote his life to the educa- 
tion of deaf-mutes and to the introduction into our country of 
new methods of teaching. In the group the teacher is shown bend- 
ing toward his pupil with sympathetic look ; she, with outstretched 
arm, closes her little hand, thus shaping a letter of the new language 



320 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

which he has given her. Her eyes look the gratitude of the pent-up 
soul. The artist's conception is as beautiful as a strain of music. 
The execution of the group is no less satisfying, the composition of 
line and mass being very successful, though novel. The sweep of 
the child's simple dress is happily employed ; the straight little arm 
offers just enough contrast to the other graceful but less significant 
lines. It concentrates attention, leading the eye back finally to the 
wistful, pleading face and to the reassuring smile of the teacher. 
Among all of the sculptures which America has produced one recalls 
few indeed approaching either the originality or the tender, poetic 
charm of this exquisite work. 

At the Columbian Exposition, surrounded by the extravagances 
of the Italian carvers and the clever plastic jokes of the Spanish 
modellers, Mr. French's relief of " The Angel of Death and the 
Young Sculptor " rose superb — the expression of a self-respecting 
master of a noble art (PL IX). Putting aside the actual signifi- 
cance of the idea, which appeals to all, though so variously, one 
finds in the handling of this memorial to Martin Milmore some 
new and interesting features. The artist has attempted no por- 
traiture. The young sculptor is not Milmore, though Mr. French 
was reminded, after the sphinx was introduced, turned around and 
remodelled, that Milmore had actually carved one of these weird 
creatures for the Mount Auburn Cemetery. In a way the motif of 
the relief suggests Watts's " Love and Death " ; but how much more 
beautiful and impressive this mysterious angel form than the grisly, 
threatening something which presses, silent and irresistible, upon the 
figure of Love in the famous painting ! It is, to be sure, only a 
question of point of view. Mr. French's angel may be looked upon 
as a friend, even a benefactress; one of our eloquent clergymen has 
so interpreted it in a suggestive sermon. 

The manner in which the artist simplified and etherealized the 
face of the angel is very interesting. One feels firm modelling 
underneath it all, but a skilful blending of the forms avoids sharp- 
ness and angularity. The overshadowing mass of drapery cuts off 
all direct light, and shrouds the noble face in a dim half-tone. By 
these ingenious and happy devices the sculptor has succeeded to a 
remarkable degree in escaping the aggressive realism which spoils 



DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH 321 

so many of the would-be ideal works of this period. This face has 
mystery; it is impressive and grand. It speaks to every imagina- 
tion. 

The universality of this appeal proves, in a way, the greatness of 
the work ; the sympathetic response which it evokes is the highest 
tribute possible. All human kind, from the ignorant, the uncouth, 
even the flippant, to the most refined and the most spiritual, show a 
quick flash of recognition when introduced to this truly great thought. 
It stirs the sluggish, prosaic mind ; it arrests the frivolous. It calms 
the work-weary and tempest-tossed ; it is big enough in grasp for the 
philosopher and the seer. Strange it sounds to speak of a gravestone 
as "popular," yet were the word not so abused by the companionship 
of the meretricious, it could well be employed in this connection. 
Photographs of this relief are to be seen in every picture store ; they 
hang in thousands of homes. One finds them in offices and upon the 
desks of men of business. It is a wonderful thing, a very great 
privilege, to be able to talk thus to one's countrymen. And to do it 
in a language so exalted, with an eloquence so sustained — how rare ! 

To revert for a moment to the technical execution of the group, 
there is a great lesson for sculptors in the treatment of those admira- 
ble wings. Their masterly simplicity was emphasized by the neigh- 
boring Florentine angels at the Columbian Exposition. The Italians 
verily cannot stay the hand until every feather is ruffled into unrest. 
Feathers are hardly enough ; they delight in marking even the striae 
with a fine-toothed comb. Very different is Mr. French's treatment. 
Much is eliminated to begin with ; the great feathers are reduced to 
three or four. Then broad surfaces are left quite undisturbed or are 
blended together into simple masses, with here and there an occasional 
accent. But this accent is quite enough — far more effective, indeed, 
than a monotonous teasing of the entire surface. 

Other beautiful angels of later date from the hand of Mr. French 
are the little reliefs of kneeling figures decorating the Clarke monu- 
ment, Forest Hills, Boston ; the impressive creation for the White 
Memorial, also in Forest Hills Cemetery, and the dreamy little vase- 
bearer of the Chapman Memorial in Milwaukee. 

To continue the catalogue of Mr. French's works, we turn again 
to the Columbian Exposition, where, amid the endless array of sculp- 



322 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

tural decorations, the work of this masterful artist stood preeminent. 
It is unnecessary to explain that this was not alone because of the 
enormous size of the figure of the " Republic." That crowning 
feature of the Fair was more than a big feature ; it was a great one. 
Some did not like it, but that was their misfortune ; it was not 
Mr. French's problem to make a merely pretty thing. He took his 
commission more seriously. His the task to represent something 
more enduring than the exposition, and to embody it in a form 
which should enter into an architectural scheme of classic spirit. It 
was to be seen from a distance, in connection with those buildings ; 
it must be a monument as well as a statue. Hence its symmetry and 
balance. Hence the straight, severe lines of the lower portion of 
the figure. Its archaic severity was not accidental. The artist 
studied long on his problem, eliminating and simplifying until the 
monument stood reduced to its lowest terms, a triumph of intelligent 
selection. No doubt Mr. French could have made his " Republic " 
graceful as a Hebe, as sinuous as Bernini's contorted divinities; 
but he knew better. Those long lines and broad masses fairly 
insisted upon leading the eye up to the arms and head. One could 
not avoid the countenance — that "stern, sweet face" which realized 
Lowell's vision. Such a union of personality with sculptural gener- 
alization is rare. To convey the impression of a soul so great yet 
so far removed is a remarkable achievement. To realize the magni- 
tude of Mr. French's success one need only compare a good photo- 
graph of the " Republic " with such other immense creations as 
Schwanthaler's " Bavaria," Schilling's " Germany," and Bartholdi's 
" Liberty." 

Of this time also were those first important collaborations with 
Edward C. Potter, the well-known sculptor of animals, a former 
pupil of Mr. French. Every one remembers the spirited " Columbus 
Quadriga " which crowned the so-called Peristyle, and those most suc- 
cessful decorative groups of the Court of Honor, in which appeared 
" The Teamster," " The Farmer," " The Indian Girl," and that other 
unnamed, classic beauty, all so effectively combined with Mr. Potter's 
noble horses and oxen. 

The success of the Milmore Memorial brought now from Boston 
a second order of similar character, that for the John Boyle O'Reilly 




FIG. 48. — FRENCH AND POTTER: WASHINGTON, PARIS. 



DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH 325 

monument (Fig. 47). This fine work, dedicated in 1896, is most 
happily situated in the region known as the Back Bay Fens, and is 
well worthy of a special pilgrimage. The scheme is primarily a 
massive stone of Celtic design, against one face of which is placed 
a bust of the poet ; on the other side is a bronze group. The idea 
of this group is not a complex one, — the day for sculptural rebuses 
is gone by, — but its significance is enhanced by its very simplicity. 
The figure of Erin, a presence of rare beauty, sits twining in mourn- 
ful pride a wreath of laurel. She is supported on the one hand by 
the personification of Patriotism and on the other by Poesy, a beau- 
tiful youth who, with outstretched hand, offers leaves for the wreath. 
These three do not sit there upright and politely ignoring one another, 
like self-conscious strangers, but are closely bound together in thought 
and in composition. The subordinate figures are shown as supplying 
the material of the wreath and following its growth with sympathetic 
interest. There is nothing theatrical in the composition ; all is calm 
and reverent. Yet one is responsive to an undercurrent of exalta- 
tion, a service of gratitude as well as of sorrow. Erin rejoices in the 
memory of her gifted son even while she mourns her loss. 1 There 
are certain great qualities which we always expect in the work of 
Mr. French which might, however, escape the unpractised eye of the 
non-professional — the sculptural compactness which he has given 
to the group as a whole, and the " color," or play of light and shade, 
with which he has enlivened these surfaces. The apparently un- 
studied swerve of the figures has been most delicately planned to 
produce undulation, advance, and retreat of masses. The total effect 
is one of gentle dignity — a combination of tenderness and reserve. 

Mr. French has produced in collaboration with Mr. Potter, three 
equestrian statues of high value ; the " General Grant," which was 
unveiled in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, on the 27th of April, 1S99 ; 
the " Washington " (Fig. 48) presented to France by the Daughters 
of the Revolution, and formally dedicated on July 4, 1900; and the 
"General Joseph Hooker," inaugurated in Boston on June 25, 1903. 

No better descriptions of the two former works have been written 
than those found in an article on Mr. French by Mr. William A. 
Coffin, published in the Century Magazine. 

1 Described in Century Magazine. Vol. XXX. p. 158. 



326 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

" Washington, in Mr. French's statue, is represented as taking 
command of the army at Cambridge, dedicating his sword to the 
service of his country, and appealing to Heaven for the justice of 
his cause. With the head thrown slightly backward, the figure 
holds with the left hand and arm the military hat and the bridle 
reins, and, the other arm being extended perpendicularly, the right 
hand holds the sword exactly upright. The pose is heroic and 
dramatic. The spirit of the motive is admirably expressed in the 
action of the figure, and the head is noble and commanding in 
aspect. The horse, with arched neck and showing splendid lines 
of construction and action, is imposing, and holds its proper place 
in the work, which is, as a whole, superlatively excellent in style. 
The pedestal was designed by Mr. Charles F. McKim. The total 
height from the ground to the head of the figure is about thirty 
feet. 

" The figure of General Grant is in complete repose. The body 
is firmly erect, and the head, facing directly forward, is fixed and 
steady. The hands are resting, one upon the other, on the pommel 
of the saddle ; and an army cloak, hanging from the shoulders, falls 
on the hips and the back of the horse. The face looks out from 
under the brim of the stiff-crowned hat with a meditative, calm ex- 
pression, beneath which quiet exterior one feels there is concealed a 
vast amount of determination and force. When looked at closely, 
the eyes are seen to be turned a little to one side. The figure 
expresses immobility and watchfulness. Captain and horse seem 
to be one in this uncompromising attitude, and the horse is so un- 
obtrusive as part of the group, and yet so thoroughly in character 
with his rider, that a special meed of praise is due to Mr. Potter for 
understanding so well the needs of the subject, and expressing them 
so finely in his part of the work. This brief description of the two 
statues is sufficient to show that Mr. French is endowed with a 
faculty of the greatest importance in the arts of sculpture and paint- 
ing — that of expression, not only by fidelity of detail, but also by 
the composition of a work as a whole, the character of the subject, 
and of causing the beholder to receive in a general view an impres- 
sion corresponding to the artist's conception. He decides that his 
Washington shall be heroic and striking and dramatic (but of course 




FIG. 49. — FRENCH : ALMA MATER, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY. 



DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH 329 

not theatrical), and he produces just this impression on the spectator 
by the large style of his means ; while his detail, when the time 
comes to take note of it, is seen to be in harmony with the trend of 
his great lines and masses. He conceives his Grant as a great cap- 
tain who showed the least emotion under the mightiest strain, the 
greatest exterior calm in the most acute and trying situations, and 
consistently develops a figure whose posture may not be inaptly 
likened to that of a sentinel in a shower of rain which causes the 
passers-by to hurry to shelter, but leaves him standing unmoved in 
the steady drenching. There is no sensitiveness to merely annoy- 
ing conditions, but an alert readiness to judge quickly what to do if 
the occasion comes for action. The feet are stuck into the stirrups, 
the body is straight and at rest, the head is as steady as a sign-post ; 
but one feels that his head might turn in an instant and the body 
swing round while an order was briefly given, and that the figure 
might then resume its position, every line in it expressing quiet 
deliberation and coolness in the face of danger." ] 

The more recent equestrian statue of General Hooker in Boston 
has been placed at the Park Street end of the State House grounds. 
It shows both the commander and the noble horse at rest. The 
whole effect is quiet but impressive while not lacking in decorative 
value at even a considerable distance. Its character is as distinctly 
pronounced as that of either the " Washington " or the " Grant," neither 
of which it resembles excepting in the perfection of its workmanship. 

Among Mr. French's works not already mentioned are portrait 
statues of Thomas Starr King in San Francisco (1890); Rufus 
Choate, Boston (189S); Governor John I. Pillsbury, Minneapolis 
(1901); Commodore George H. Perkins, Concord, New Hampshire 
(1902); General William F. Bartlett and Governor Wolcott, for the 
State House of Boston ; and a group for the new Chamber of Com- 
merce, New York, containing a portrait statue of De Witt Clinton, 
supported by two allegorical figures. His memorial to Richard M. 
Hunt, previously referred to, stands upon Fifth Avenue in New 
York, near Seventieth Street, and is notable for its happy union of 
sculpture and architecture, which are indeed personified here in 
bronze figures at either end of a stately exedra. These presiding 

1 Century Magazine, Vol. XXXVII, p. 871. 



330 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

geniuses are treated with fitting formality; but within the severe 
outlines of their classic garments is much richness of plastic hand- 
ling, while their heads show new and gracious types, being among 
the most beautiful of Mr. French's creations. The dignified bust 
of the great architect is virile and animated — in every way worthy 
of its conspicuous position. 

Mr. French has had in his studio for several years three pairs of 
doors destined for the Boston Public Library. They differ from 
the usual bronze doors of many panels, being simply large reliefs of 
separate figures. The subjects are : Music and Poetry ; Knowledge 
and Wisdom; Truth and Inspiration. These allegoric figures, en- 
veloped in much graceful drapery, are treated in very low relief, 
and will rank among our choicest examples of that elusive form of 
sculpture. It is recognized that low-relief work is one of the final 
tests of a sculptor's skill. In the importunate and most difficult 
problems of composition, foreshortening, and draping, reduced al- 
most to the ethereal, Mr. French has shown his skill to be quite 
equal to his refined taste. 

Mr. French devoted a large portion of the years 1902 and 1903 
to the elaboration of his imposing "Alma Mater" (Fig. 49), which 
now adorns the approach to the Library of Columbia University, 
New York. The figure is of heroic dimensions, seated in a curule 
chair, her elbows resting on its arms. It has been well said of Mr. 
French that whether he does a thing in the " large " or as a figurine, 
he always does it largely, and his smallest creations have dignity 
and force, just as his most grandiose have tenderness and refinement. 
This figure, though very commanding, has the grace which one 
would willingly attribute to a subject so beloved. The sculptor has 
given definite and gratifying form to the intangible but cherished 
dream-mother of all college men. "Alma Mater" suggests not a 
little the sculptor's " Republic," now seated and at her ease ; but 
this figure is more winning and more personal — " Alma Mater " in- 
vites not only the reverence but the love of all her children. 

This figure may be said to epitomize, as well as any one work 
can do so, the general character of Mr. French's art. In it one rec- 
ognizes a refined and poetic thought combined with a singular purity 
of technic. Grace and plastic charm are qualities inherent in almost 



DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH 33 1 

everything that Mr. French has done, giving a distinct value to 
whatever he fashions, quite aside from its primary significance. He 
conceives his works in a large and sympathetic way and delights in 
every step of the processes which externalize his thought. It is 
his great distinction to have created good sculpture which the 
people could love ; works which reveal their beauty to the most 
primitively informed in art, and which nevertheless are gratifying to 
the brother craftsmen. In this respect as well as in many others 
Mr. French is truly a leader. No one has a greater following and 
yet, most agreeable paradox ! no one has done better work. 

That this should have been done without some concession to 
popular taste is remarkable, yet it may be asserted that Mr. French's 
art is not only far removed from the theatrical, but is, on the con- 
trary, notably reticent and self-contained. Sculpture is not with 
him a " passional expression," but the outward symbol of a serene, or 
at least a highly controlled, nature. Indeed, it may be said that 
abstract serenity is the most uniform characteristic of his productions. 
How far this is a matter of temperament, and how far it is due to 
personal theories of the legitimate scope of sculpture, it would be 
interesting to know ; but as such theories are largely the result of 
the "personal equation," it is probable that the answer is not far 
to seek. Since Mr. French is the best known and the most highly 
appreciated of our native sculptors, his work becomes doubly inter- 
esting as a demonstration of the artistic possibilities of our race and 
as an indication of present-day tastes and tendencies. That such 
men as Mr. French and Mr. Saint Gaudens are known and admired 
by the general public is a most encouraging sign ; that sculpture so 
noble and so original as that of Mr. French should be produced by 
an American and a New Englander is not less significant. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

FREDERICK MACMONNIES 

In more than one respect Frederick MacMonnies is an extraor- 
dinary artist. For sheer dexterity of manipulation there is no Ameri- 
can sculptor to be compared with him. His eminence is not limited, 
however, to the skill of the hand. In invention he is prolific to a 
remarkable degree, and if his work never reaches the exquisite 
higher notes of his master, Saint Gaudens, nor traverses the gamut 
to the depths of feeling of George Barnard, it extends over a wide 
range — a range equalled by few living sculptors. He has done many 
things, but has yet to record a failure. From the " Bacchante " to 
the " Shakespeare," from the irresistible " Donatello " babies to the 
military groups of Brooklyn, he has shown in all his mastery of his art. 
Some sculptors avoid failures by attempting only commonplaces ; 
but Mr. MacMonnies cannot be accused of undue caution. He is 
audacious. He experiments. He tries all fields known and unknown. 
We can quite believe his comment that every one of his important 
works has been " born of a great enthusiasm " ; but each has been 
developed under a firm hand, guided by a reasoning mind. 

The result of these various unusual qualities is a capacity for 
production almost without parallel in the art world of to-day. Dur- 
ing the ten years of his greatest activity, Mr. MacMonnies not only 
created more good sculpture than did any contemporary, but more 
than most sculptors produce in a lifetime. Indeed, as one recalls 
the story of the past, it does not seem a stretch of fancy to claim 
that in all likelihood no sculptor ever accomplished the same amount 
of good work in the same brief period. 

There are not lacking, of course, those to mourn that he did not 
"attempt less and put more thought into it"; but it may well be 
questioned if greater deliberation would have produced more 

33 2 









PLATE X. 

MACM0NN1ES: NATHAN HALE, NEW YORK. 



CH.J 



tor- 












Some 






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. sculptors. He has don 
record a failure. From the " Bacchante " to 
resistible " Donatello - to the 

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it 

. 

ie of his important 
but each has been 
asoning mi 
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.. Dur- 

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ut more 

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im 

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that he did not 

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>roduced more 



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ie brief ; 
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1 put m 

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■ W3M ,3JAH MAHTAM .a3IWW0M0AM 



FREDERICK MACMONNIES 333 

remarkable results. Mr. MacMonnies may not be a profound 
thinker; and then again he may be — so profound as to realize that 
art should not attempt to compass the entire horizon of philosophy. 
Whether he could have felt things any more strongly or expressed 
them any more vividly by "taking thought " is doubtful. He is not 
of the brooding kind. He exults in accomplishment, and his ardor 
increases with the progress of the work instead of burning out 
and leaving us but cold ashes. 

What could we spare from all his array of beautiful creations ? 
What would you wish him to have spent more time upon? Some 
are wrought with the caressing finish of the mediaeval goldsmith ; 
others are enveloped in a plastic suavity of surface which seems 
to have " come of itself," so little look of labor is there in it ; but 
each treatment is suited to its object, and there is not one thing in 
all the list which has been neglected. There is not a figure 
which does not stand well on its feet, not a fold of drapery which 
has not been considered. The American conscience is sometimes 
said to be over-developed. It must be confessed that in matters 
artistic there are examples within reach where it seems to pre- 
ponderate to the exclusion of other desirable qualities. In the work 
of Mr. MacMonnies one feels the just balance. You infer the con- 
science from the results. A good man does not spend his days in 
incessant prating about duty. He does not obtrude his conscience, 
but lives it. So Mr. MacMonnies lives his art, expressing himself 
in it to his best ability. He thinks in terms of sculpture, and there- 
fore his art is spontaneous, vital, and convincing. 

For all his sophistication Mr. MacMonnies is, like his master, 
much nearer in his sympathies to Donatello than to Michael Angelo. 
His art is essentially plastic rather than glyptic. He has no leaning 
toward the stone-cutter's massive generalizations. One recalls but a 
single work of his translated into the marble, the " Venus and Adonis," 
and for this the sculptor perversely chose a red granulated stone full of 
streaks and blemishes. Perhaps it was Mr. MacMonnies's early study 
of painting which turned him from the white and developed the color 
sense that he has gratified in later years by a temporary change of 
profession. It is more likely, however, that it was the taste which 
preceded and led to the youthful revels in color. At any rate it is 



334 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

evident that with all his industry Mr. MacMonnies has little love for 
the painful process of the pointing instrument, the mallet, and chisel. 
His art is a joyous one, which must find playful and swift expression. 
He delights in the "feel " of the clay and handles it like a magician, 
astonishing even himself with the results. And when the effect is 
obtained, when his dream is realized, then he is clone with it. It 
must be preserved exactly as his fingers have left it. He knows that 
no other hand could reproduce his touch in marble. He would chafe 
under the restraint of doing it himself, and, besides, he has something 
else to do ; he is already aflame with a new idea. Even more inevi- 
tably than with Saint Gaudens, his compositions are conceived for 
the bronze alone. Certain of the elder sculptor's works could be put 
into marble successfully ; there are few, if any, of Mr. Mac'Monnies's 
that would not lose all appropriateness through the change. 

Mr. MacMonnies was born in Brooklyn, New York, Sept. 28, 
1863. His father, William MacMonnies, of Clan Menzies in Scot- 
land, came to New York at the age of eighteen and in the grain 
business laid the foundation of a considerable fortune which, how- 
ever, was swept away during the Civil War. The artistic temperament 
was an inheritance from the mother, Juliana Eudora West, a niece 
of Benjamin West. The boy's talent revealed itself early, and 
developed in the face of many difficulties. Though obliged to 
leave school while still a child and to earn his living as clerk in a 
jewelry store, he nevertheless found time to pursue his favorite study, 
and at the age of sixteen attracted the attention of Mr. Saint Gaudens, 
who received him as an apprentice in his studio. Delighted as the 
youth must have been, he could not have realized at that time the 
full significance of his good fortune. During the next five years he 
received the best possible training in the fundamental principles of 
his art. He was an industrious and eager student, not confining his 
efforts to the studio, but working at night in the life-classes of the 
Academy of Design and the Art Students' League ; and when, in 
1S84, he was enabled to go abroad, he went equipped with a knowl- 
edge of modelling which made him ready to reap the whole benefit 
from the foreign schools. It is safe to say that no young American 
sculptor had ever journeyed to Europe so well prepared to profit 
immediately by the privileges there offered. During those formative 



FREDERICK MACMONNIES 



335 



years he had enjoyed the priceless advantage of frequent and familiar 
association with the greatest artists of the country. Our leading 
painters, architects, and writers, as well as the brother sculptors, 
made Mr. Saint Gaudens's studio a sort of rendezvous in those days. 
Their late-afternoon chats and discussions must have opened new 
worlds to the eager mind of the youth. He seldom spoke, but was 
always within ear-shot. 

Mr. MacMonnies went direct to Paris and was promptly enrolled 
in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While most of the American students 
of that day had made their little start at home without instruction, 
and had not known enough to build up a figure upon their arrival 
in the school, this young man of twenty stepped into place with 
perfect confidence and at once showed his companions that he could 
swing his weekly bonhomme into shape with the cleverest of them. 
The cholera broke out that year in Paris, and in deference to the 
wishes of his parents the young sculptor packed up and moved on 
to Munich, where he spent some months in painting. Then followed 
a glorious tramp through the Alps and the return to Paris, but he 
was scarcely re-installed when he received word that he was needed 
in Mr. Saint Gaudens's studio. He left at once for New York, where 
he remained one year. He was in Paris again in 1885, and once 
more in the school, toiling with feverish intensity and making great 
strides. In the concours a" atelier at the end of this year, the highest 
competition open to foreigners, he took the prize away from all of 
the anciens of the studio. 

After a couple of years the slender purse was quite exhausted, and 
half regretfully Mr. MacMonnies went back to the New York studio 
to work and to replenish his fund. Within a year he was in Paris 
again, full of projects and ambitions. The school had grown dis- 
tasteful. M. Falguiere counselled him to take a studio and strike 
out for himself, at the same time offering to employ him occasion- 
ally in his own private studio. This was, of course, a high compli- 
ment as well as a piece of good fortune. But a dream which the 
young artist had been cherishing of a majestic " Diana " drove out 
presently all other thoughts, and he gave himself up completely to 
this fascinating study. Though a remarkably rapid worker, Mr. 
MacMonnies is also a most persistent and critical one. For the 



336 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

space of an entire year he toiled, making the figure as perfect in con- 
struction and as rich in surface modelling as possible. A story is 
told of a visit which his professor made him while it was in progress. 
Falguiere, it will be remembered, was something of a specialist in 
Dianas. The great sculptor of flesh viewed the work from all sides, 
and then began to make suggestions. Growing interested, he ven- 
tured a slight touch here and there. Before long he had quite for- 
gotten the young artist's presence, forgotten that the little model 
was not his own, forgotten everything but the problem before him, 
which he was solving in his own way; and while his reverent but 
very much worried pupil looked on with bulging eyes, the old 
sculptor twisted and punched the figure into an entirely new pose. 
" Voila," he cried, as he gave it a final caress, "faime mieux ga ! " 
Perhaps our friend was pale with excitement as he bowed his ami- 
able visitor out, endeavoring the while to express a gratitude which 
somehow did not well up quite spontaneously at the moment. 
When he went back he sought in a portfolio a photograph of 
Falguiere's famous running " Nymphe," and compared it with the 
present state of his model. 

The movement was exactly the same ! Unconsciously the mas- 
ter had fallen into " the line of the least resistance." Having 
posed one limb " thus," the other naturally went " so," and without 
suspecting it he had re-invented his own statue. It is needless to 
say that the clay figure got another twisting before the sun went 
down, and under those impatient fingers was soon restored to its 
original pose. Diana emerged radiant and superb, and won for her 
creator his first honor at the Salon, a " Mention." This was in 
1889, and the same year brought him his first commission, an order 
for three life-size figures of angels in bronze, for Saint Paul's Church, 
New York City. 

The angels proved very successful, and his all-powerful friend 
and master felt justified in turning in his direction various other 
orders of increasing importance. In 1S89 it was the " Nathan Hale" 
(PL X), and in 1S90 the remarkable portrait statue of James L. T. 
Stranahan of Brooklyn. These were exhibited at the Salon of 1891, 
where they won for Mr. MacMonnies a "second medal " — the first 
and only time that an American sculptor has been so honored at 




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FREDERICK MACMONNIES 339 

the Salon. There are not a few intelligent people who have found 
in his figure of Nathan Hale a greater satisfaction than in any other 
portrait statue of this country. To be sure it is not strictly a por- 
trait at all, since there were no data to work from, but this makes 
small difference. The artist has realized the character that we 
desire. This might well be the young patriot ; it satisfies perhaps 
even better than might the authentic face and figure. Its first 
appearance was greeted with enthusiastic applause, and time has 
wrought no change in the public attitude of admiration except- 
ing to intensify it. The work is one of our few public sculptures 
which have not lost in the transition from the studio light to their 
pedestals. It is finer there in the City Hall Park of New York than 
in the best of the photographs, beautiful as they are. 

The artist chose the supreme moment of the patriot's life. He 
has shown him pinioned, with arms close bound to his sides and 
ankles fettered, standing proudly but without the defiance with which 
a lesser hero would have posed before the world and with which 
a lesser artist would have disfigured his work. The face is exalted 
with the emotion of the hour. The lips seem to speak the memo- 
rable words, " I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my 
country." Expression and sentiment were never more perfectly in 
accord. The hero realizes the sacrifice, and makes it gladly. No 
modern work better illustrates the effectiveness of composure. It is 
so easy to overdo the heroic and to make it absurd or repugnant. 
Any conspicuous display of feeling which the mind cannot follow 
sympathetically begins at once to antagonize. The calm, the sin- 
cerity, and the entire lack of "pose" of the "Nathan Hale" win us 
at once. Even the casual passer-by feels, if only for the instant, a 
recognition of lofty sentiment which may never have come within his 
ken before, but may haply be repeated until it shall find an abiding 
place in his soul. This is what the sculptor desired. While he has 
given us one of the most artistic figures in our country, it represents 
more than "art for art's sake." In conversation upon this subject 
one day MacMonnies said earnestly: " I wanted to make something 
that would set the boot-blacks and little clerks around there think- 
ing — something that would make them want to be somebody and 
find life worth livins;." 



34-0 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

The order for the " Stranahan " was a peculiarly welcome one. 
The statue was destined to an important position in Brooklyn, and 
upon it the artist put his most enthusiastic work. He had the un- 
usual privilege of modelling the figure during the life of his subject, 
and both as a portrait and as a faithful rendering Mr. MacMonnies still 
finds in it a satisfaction which his most inspired works of fancy fail 
to give him. Nothing truer has been done in our day. While there 
is a sculptural bigness in the arrangement as a whole and an uncon- 
ventional freedom throughout, one is struck above all with the inci- 
sive characterization ; the personality of the man is the first and last 
impression. You forget everything else. He is real. He is alive. 

Few will be able to recall another portrait statue of our time in 
which the sculptor has ventured to complete the costume with the 
high silk hat. The benevolent-looking old gentleman holds it in his 
right hand; in his left, which is gloved, is his sturdy cane; on his 
arm, an overcoat. Nothing could be simpler nor more natural and 
logical, yet it was left for this young beginner to overcome the diffi- 
culties of modern costume by facing them squarely. The result is 
completely successful and we wonder why others have not done it 
before. They must have thought of it, — one hardly thinks of a man 
out of doors without his hat, — and, excepting the soldiers, those called 
to the honor of sculptural representation are generally of the class 
that wears silk hats. But possibly Mr. MacMonnies would say we 
are paying too much attention to that high hat, which was a matter 
of course with him, and that we are losing the better part. He 
would tell us that if the figure is valuable for all time, it is because it 
is true to our time. It has its own place and significance as a his- 
toric document, artistically rendered. It will inspire confidence in 
other days, and men of other centuries will look into its face with 
the little thrill of recognition which we feel in approaching a bust 
from the hand of Mino da Fiesole, or a portrait by one of the great 
Dutch masters. 

Between his more important undertakings Mr. MacMonnies has 
made a practice of amusing himself by the creation of fanciful fig- 
ures of slight import but of great technical charm. Their very irre- 
sponsibility is no doubt one of their most bewitching graces. They 
are evidently done for amusement, and it is no small comfort to see 



FREDERICK MACMONNIES 341 

now and then a piece of good sculpture unfreighted with a cargo of 
deep moral significance. Beyond their compelling good humor is 
the perfection of their workmanship. This perfection seems to be 
inherent, not all upon the surface. Its completeness unfolds upon 
acquaintance, and there is a particular and delicate pleasure in the 
progressive discovery. 

The so-called " Pan of Rohallion " was the first of these many 
fancies which the young artist has wrought out with so much zest. 
It is a decorative bit, a fountain figure of a boy standing upon a 
globe in a mock heroic attitude, and laughing as he plays upon a 
double reed. The pose is symmetrical throughout, the weight rest- 
ing equally upon the legs, and the arms are lifted alike. To accuse 
this jovial little fellow of " theatricality," as some have done, is to lay 
entirely too much stress upon the motif. It is the antic of a merry 
child striking a pose and making music to himself. Nothing could 
be more spontaneous and buoyant. The globe upon which the mis- 
chievous little chap poises a-tiptoe is in turn supported by eight 
able-bodied fishes which stand upon their tails and spout water with 
commendable diligence. The other slight accessories, the wreath 
on the head, and the fluttering scarf, are indefinite but effective, 
being enough, along with the smile, to transform an excellent 
" academy " into a real work of art. 

Up to the summer of 1893 Mr. MacMonnies's name was known 
to comparatively few of his countrymen. Suddenly, as it were in a 
day, it was upon the tongues of thousands, and his skill was the 
common possession and pride of all America. This prompt and 
widespread popularity is without parallel in the history of our art. 
If the early enthusiasms over Powers and Crawford were somewhat 
similar, let it be recalled how meagre was their public as compared 
with the multitudes who visited Jackson Park during the season of 
the Columbian Exposition. 

The story of the Columbian fountain (Fig. 50), better known 
as the " MacMonnies Fountain," is interesting. Mr. Saint Gaudens, 
serving upon the advisory board of the Exposition, had counselled a 
liberal use of sculpture and suggested many of the features which 
were so happily incorporated into the general scheme. Most im- 
portant among these were the giant figure of the " Republic " and the 



342 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

great fountain of the Court of Honor. The former had been awarded 
to Mr. French. Who should do the fountain ? Who could do it 
adequately? There were many more capable sculptors in the- 
country than either the directors or the general public suspected at 
the time, and some of these were destined to make their debuts in 
the work of the Exposition ; but at the moment, with Saint Gaudens 
and French out of the question, it must have looked hopeless to 
attempt to find among American sculptors a man equal to this enor- 
mous undertaking — a man who could conceive a majestic affair in 
the style of the French exposition sculpture. A fountain was de- 
manded whose lines should " carry " to a great distance, and whose 
details should possess "style"; in short, a work which would be a 
real ornament to the grounds from all directions and all distances. 

When the subject was brought up for final settlement, Mr. Saint 
Gaudens offered the name of Frederick MacMonnies as an artist 
equal to the occasion, and, upon the request of the directorate, 
presented him to them. Solely upon the recommendation of his 
friend and teacher the commission was awarded to him, with 
$50,000 to carry it out. The preliminaries being settled, the young 
man — he was then but twenty-seven years of age — exultant, but 
burdened with his great responsibility, hastened back to Paris to 
begin the vast work. 

The fountain was intended to be, and was, the finest sculpture 
on the grounds. The artist saw at once that it would be useless to 
attempt to compete with the enormous buildings which were to sur- 
round it ; he could not make it look big. So he wisely chose the 
better part, elaborating a wonderfully chiselled jewel instead. Be- 
tween its easy mastery and the amateurish scratches and vague 
details which characterized so much of the work about it, there was 
a great gulf. This imposing composition, with its twenty-seven 
colossal figures, was as well done as the " Stranahan " or the " Boy 
with Heron." It was no more troublesome to its author than the 
little " Pan." He managed it from start to finish with perfect ease 
and perfect success. It may be noted, also, that the artist grudged 
money as little as work in his effort for perfection. He made no 
attempt to save, but spent freely upon it every dollar of the large 
sum given him. 



FREDERICK MACMONNIES 






The design wa.s a definite and happy one, suggested no doubt 
by the fountain of the Paris Exposition of 1889, but a notable im- 
provement as far as clean lines and elegance were concerned. The 
central mass was a great white ship of charming design, upon which, 
loftily enthroned, sat Columbia in regal grace. On the prow of 
the vessel was the tall, exultant figure of Fame with uplifted 
trumpet. On the high stern an athletic Father Time had general 




Fig. 51. — MacMonnies : Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial, Brooklyn. 

supervision of the progress of the bark, whose motive power con- 
sisted of eight strong-armed sisters of great beauty, standing figures 
purporting to represent the arts and industries. They were too 
much preoccupied with their work to display their professional attri- 
butes, but we were told that those on one side represented Sculp- 
ture, Architecture, Painting, and Music, and their colleagues on the 
other side, Agriculture, Science, Industry, and Commerce. 

To many the " Columbia " was the least satisfying portion of the 



344 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

design, — a misfortune, since this figure was supposed to be the 
centre and culmination of the entire scheme. Elegant in line and 
modelling, she sat there in almost the identical position of Mac- 
Monnies's first-prize figure of the Paris concours of 1885. The pose 
was a proud and a sculptural one, but not a few found the nudity of 
the figure repellent or at least undignified, while to others the type 
of the face seemed unworthy. It is probable, however, that Mr. 
MacMonnies had no ambition to satisfy all ideals of the Republic, 
leaving to Mr. French the more serious task of adequately typifying 
the nation. This was to be merely a beautiful figure playing its 
part in an elaborate composition, perfectly satisfying to the eye if not 
to the mind. The keynote of the entire conception was a pageant, 
a tableau, something gayly ephemeral, rendered doubly impressive 
by reason of its short tenure of life. 

The pedestal supporting the throne was exquisite. There was 
nothing more beautiful in all the park than those kneeling cherubs 
which served as picturesque caryatides. The groups of oarswomen 
made superb masses on either side. The eye was led to them un- 
consciously by the long, firm lines of the decorative oars. They 
were well together, so that distance gave them a surprising unity; 
but within that simple grouping there was a no less remarkable 
diversitv. The Graceful figures were clad in light garments, which 
seemed actually to flutter in the gentle breeze. So adroitly varied 
were the forms, so skilfully lost and found, that they rendered the 
very charm if not the illusion of thin drapery in motion. Perhaps 
the daughters of Niobe suggested this treatment, but their rigid 
mechanical lines from Roman chisels are far inferior to those which 
Mr. MacMonnies gave us. One must turn to the " Nike " of Samo- 
thrace to find the true inspiration of these rare effects. 

Mr. Will Low points out with particular emphasis the beauty of 
the "admirable decorative ship" and of its accessories, the garlands 
and various emblems, " all exceedingly well distributed, chosen, and 
executed." ] Bands of charming detail formed the rich borders of 
the great untroubled surfaces of the ship. Athwart these restful 
zones extended the oars, connecting the vessel still more intimately 
with the water and with the scattered satellites of the composition, 

1 Scribncr's Magazine. Vol. XVII, p. 620. 



FREDERICK MACMONNIES 345 

the great sea-horses, the dolphins, and their semi-human companions. 
The latter were as sportive as were serious the fair sisters above in 
their make-believe rowing. What cared these revellers for the 
" Progress of Civilization," for the trumpet blasts of Fame, or the 
struggles of long-bearded Kronos to keep things going straight ! 
But every one of the twenty-seven great figures, from the star-eyed 
goddess up there against the sky to the least of those graceful gym- 
nasts of the deep, had its part to play in the impressive and splendid 
whole. So fine was the result, so free from effort, that we took 
it all for granted, as a matter of course, as we do the marvels of 
woods and fields, the glories of dawn and sunset. In our enjoy- 
ment we often forgot to give credit to the mind which had conceived 
and the hands which had shaped this vision of beauty. Its perfection 
had been built up thoughtfully and consistently. Such successes as 
the Columbian fountain do not " happen." 

The "Sir Henry Vane" of the Boston Public Library is an airy 
work in which the artist has delightfully embodied his idea of the 
man and of the life of his day. Mr. MacMonnies's interpretation of 
the subject is presented so lightly and seems to have been wrought 
so easily that one gives no heed at first to the sincere effort under- 
neath it. Art has concealed art — and labor, too — so well. How 
personal and real and vivacious he is ! No stern old Deacon Chapin 
he, no vengeful Cotton Mather. In the swing of the body, the turn 
of the head, the easy movement of the arm, indeed, in the very trifling 
import of the gesture — the buttoning of a glove — there is a subtle 
expression of character which shows the artist's taste. He has 
attempted nothing imposing. He disdains even to impress you, 
unless you feel so disposed. 

Sir Henry is evidently a gentleman, accomplished, serene, and 
adequate. We know that he was forceful and not lacking in strong 
religious convictions. The artist tells us only as much as he sees fit 
of all this, giving his subject the poise and imperturbability of a man 
of the world. Sculpturally, the movement of the figure is an admi- 
rable one. It turns the body enough to give variety to its larger 
planes, putting vigor into the shoulders and their relation to the 
head ; it also increases the simplicity of contours, while the diagonal 
sweep of the arm adds an effective line and much play of light and 



346 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



shade. Its value has long been appreciated and, the wide world 
over, warriors of bronze and heroes of stone are represented tugging 
at their swords with this same movement. But Sir Henry had no 
occasion to unsheath his sword, so he does the next best thing — he 
buttons his gloves. 

Even while we analyze and find good reasons for the gesture, 
there remains a lurking suspicion that the act is trivial and a little 

unworthy of perpetuation. 
We recognize in it the 
refuge of the hapless illus- 
trators of fashionable so- 
ciety. Their ephemeral 
heroes and heroines hide 
their feelings incessantly 
— and most thoroughly, 
be it acknowledged — in 
this graceful preoccupa- 
tion. But bronze is a 
different matter, and one 
shrinks a little from the 
thought of a man — a man 
of heroic size — spending 
an eternity in buttoning 
his gloves. We are 
offered here, however, the 
charm of beautiful model- 
ling, to be enjoyed with- 
out stint. The undulation 
and color of the flowing 
surfaces, their piquancy and lightness of treatment, are all strangely 
bewildering qualities to those who know only the unhappy crea- 
tions that stand, in the manner of Saint Simeon Stylites, above our 
eastern cities. ' The visitor in Boston, happening upon the figure in 
the Public Library after a ramble among the older monuments, will 
be struck by the contrast. They are indeed " come down to us from 
a former generation," those black, brazen worthies of the round 
trouser-legs and shining hardware coats ! After their oppressive 




Fig. 52. — MacMonnies : Shakespeare, 
Congressional Library. 



FREDERICK MACMONNIES 347 

heaviness the " Sir Henry Vane " seems playful, as though the artist 
had not taken his work seriously ; yet with all this grace and vivacity, 
all this legerdemain of the technician, we find that the construction 
is there — the body is within the clothes. Yes, and fashioned with a 
truth, an accuracy and — could we see it — a firmness never dreamed 
of by those who wrought the old-time effigies. The figure before us 
is a young athlete on dress parade, his strength concealed beneath 
his caparison ; the others, too many of them, are but gigantic 
examples of the steam-fitter's art, rigidly jointed yet ponderously 
weak. 

The famous " Bacchante" (Fig. 53) was produced in 1894, while 
the following year saw the completion of the " Shakespeare " of 
the Congressional Library. These two works, which were carried 
on side by side, were begotten of very different moods and serve to 
emphasize the versatility of their author. They also mark, accord- 
ing to some, his highest expression, — Mr. Saint Gaudens in par- 
ticular considering them his pupil's best work. 

The " Bacchante " is an extraordinary combination of realism and 
ideality. It is evidently a faithful portrait of an individual, but it is 
also the product of the artist's imagination ; no mere patient copying 
of a model's body could have tenanted a figure thus with the very 
spirit of "sun-burned mirth.'' It is endowed with an atmosphere of 
physical exultation and conscious adequacy rare indeed in modei"n 
sculpture. The joy of animal existence — the joy of grassy fields 
and arching woods — could scarcely find more convincing expression. 
A work of this character seems even less at home within the marble 
hall of the Metropolitan Museum than it would in the narrow court 
of the Boston Public Library, where at least it might have been 
bathed in sunlight. It needs the open, without hint of prison walls. 
However, one is grateful for an opportunity to approach it, since 
the modelling of the "Bacchante" and of the whimsically veracious 
infant will repay the closest study. To make anatomy so true and 
yet to simplify it enough to convey the illusion of motion is one 
of the most difficult of problems. In contemplating this modern 
triumph one appreciates Mr. MacMonnies's rather pitying comment 
on contemporary art : " It is in the air to try to do things in the 
easiest way ; to avoid difficulties." Mr. MacMonnies's sculpture looks 



348 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

"easy," but it is the product of infinite patience and painstaking, 
which the sculptor has had the art to conceal. 

The "Shakespeare" (Fig. 52) has been approached in a rever- 
ent spirit, but is sufficiently mystifying to many. In following the 
bust at Stratford and the Droeshout portrait, approved by Ben Jon- 
son, Mr. MacMonnies has given to his statue a rather austere and 
archaic look, which surprises one at first, though it is quite as satisfy- 
ing in the end as the intimately imagined but markedly inadequate 
types evolved by other sculptors. Curiously enough he has taken 
pleasure in clothing this thoughtful figure in a costume of much 
bulk, covered with elaborate embroidery the details of which would 
confuse the attention were it not for their extremely low relief. 
In some ways the " Shakespeare " is the most original of all of Mr. 
MacMonnies's works, the most removed from one's range of experi- 
ence. It is so seriously conceived and so evidently a work of con- 
science that it makes instant appeal to one's respect, and, however 
unwinning at first, gradually replaces in the mind all other represen- 
tations of the great poet. 

The Congressional Library has other works from Mr. MacMon- 
nies's hands ; indeed, almost the first things to attract the visitor's 
attention, the decorations of the central door, are of his design. 
Two figures in low relief are supposed to personify respectively 
"The Humanities" and "The Intellect"; while in the tympanum 
above, " Minerva," flanked by owl and printing-press and aided by 
winged messengers, distributes improving literature to the waiting 
world. 

Another product of those busy years, 1894 and 1895, was the 
" Victory " of West Point, a winged figure of much amplitude. Its 
fine effect in position demonstrates the sculptor's instinct for mass 
as well as for line and for liofit and shade. The model when seen 
near at hand appeared heavy and somewhat lacking in grace, but so 
justly had its author estimated the encroachment of the atmosphere 
— which seems to gnaw upon contours — that the figure when raised 
upon its lofty shaft was at once transformed, growing light and 
poising airily as though ready to float away with the clouds. 

Mr. MacMonnies's largest works are connected with Prospect 
Park, Brooklyn. Of these the most important by far are the deco- 




Copyright by Theodore B. Starr, New York. 

FIG. 53. — MACMONNIES: BACCHANTE, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM. 



FREDERICK MACMONNIES 351 

rations of the Brooklyn Memorial Arch (Fig. 51), consisting of three 
enormous groups in bronze, two of which, " The Army " and " The 
Navy," decorating the piers, are treated as reliefs, although the figures 
are largely in the round. The third group is a quadriga surmounting 
the arch. Of " The Army " it is not too much to say that nothing 
finer has been done on similar lines since Rude carved " Le Depart." 
That the group recalls that mighty achievement is at once its dis- 
tinction and its misfortune. No doubt the one suggested the other ; 
but the critic will be surprised upon examining the two compositions 
to find that there is no tangible point of resemblance. Their only 
similarity is in the initial impulse which inspired and permeates 
them both, their irresistible elan. They move, and they carry one 
with them. 

The rush, the fire of the group, are tremendous. It is difficult 
to realize fully how much a man must expend in conceiving a work 
like this ; how he must keep up his nervous force through months 
of toil, during all the laborious evolution of his thought. A high- 
pressure enthusiasm under complete control is the rare endowment 
demanded of a sculptor in this field. He must be at " concert pitch " 
all of the time. Indeed, these forms which he has called into being 
stand before him like an orchestra under the guidance of its leader. 
He can make confusion by letting them run away with him ; he may 
produce discord ; he may evolve only weakness and insipidity ; or 
he may build up with singleness of purpose and infinite delicacy and 
variety of means a rendition of the composer's thought in which each 
instrument shall have its just share: advancing, retreating, asserting, 
deprecating, or dying away, as the common cause may demand. The 
sculptor is both composer and leader, the two in one ; but the 
vigor, the instant effectiveness of the man who wields the baton illus- 
trates best the tense activity of the sculptor in the presence of a 
great unformed composition. 

"The Army" is symbolized by a group of soldiers in active 
combat. An officer with uplifted sword furnishes the long domi- 
nating lines of the composition. His fallen horse gives the solidity 
of a large mass to the lower portion of the work, while a trumpet- 
ing Bellona on a magnificent winged steed crowns it, filling the 
upper third with a rich play of lights and shadows. The contour 



352 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

is agitated, bayonets bristling on every side. Mr. MacMonnies 
says that he conceived the group as an " explosion " ; a mass hurled 
against a stone wall and which, bursting in all directions, has been 
petrified as it flew. 

In this group Mr. MacMonnies, beyond challenge, has again 
proved himself a master of his art. No other American has as 
yet demonstrated on a large scale what he has successfully shown 
here — the ability to weld a tumultuous, picturesque mass into a har- 
monious whole. The secret, apart from the lines of the composition, 
which speak for themselves, rests largely in simplifications and in 
binding parts together. One must preserve constantly a sense of 
the whole. The artist realizes that accents are not accents at all if 
they occur too frequently. It is the occasional, carefully considered 
emphasis which counts in expression. So, while conspicuous forms 
must be treated with precision, even with insistence, many others 
may be quite obliterated to good advantage. In the lights such de- 
tails as buttons, accoutrements, and folds of drapery play their part 
infinitely better when subtly blended. This is not slurring the work ; 
the forms must be there first. It will take two or three times as long 
to " envelop " them as it would to make them cheaply imitative — to 
put on real buttons! — but it is worth while. It is the difference 
between sculpture and waxwork. 

In the shadowed depths even greater liberties must be taken. 
There are no black holes in good sculpture. The caverns must be 
filled, plausibly or otherwise ; not to the brim, of course, — else our 
sculptured mass would become as uninteresting in form as a worn 
bar of soap, — but sufficiently to produce luminous shadows within 
their depths. Especially must their boundaries slope off with easy 
transition on one side, at least, carrying the light by insensible 
degrees down into the darks. Some sculptors, like MacMonnies, 
seem to possess an intuitive sense of beauty in modelling. Others 
acquire skill in that direction through laborious and costly experi- 
ence ; while certain ones, possibly men of marked power in other 
phases of their art, seem to be serenely unconscious of its existence. 
It is very rare that the work of a beginner possesses this quality; he 
always begins with literal imitation. 

In " The Navy," on the other hand, Mr. MacMonnies has pro- 



FREDERICK MACMONNIES 353 

duced a very different kind of composition ; one's first thought, 
indeed, is that this group of men, standing quietly shoulder to 
shoulder, is not a " composition " at all. We find, however, a com- 
pactness of placing and of handling, a sweep of gesture on one side 
and the apparent accident of a kneeling figure on the other which 
serve to bind the group together, quite independent of that senti- 
ment pervading the whole which is perhaps its most potent bond 
of unity. For it was the sculptor's thought to show these men as 
standing upon the deck of a sinking vessel quietly awaiting their 
fate. Whether he has made this clear, or ever could, by legitimate 
sculptural means, may be questioned; but the spectator acquainted 
with his intention will find the group most dramatic in its very 
reserve. It becomes easy to persuade one's self that the vessel is 
sinking. Seen from below, the square platoon rounds into effective 
composition, while the men build up in sculptural array, their quiet 
poses showing a stanchness and solidity like that of tree-trunks in 
the forest at twilight. Marvellously, too, does the strange figure 
above them improve with distance. She has lost the look of cheap- 
ness and vulgarity which irritated us at the Exposition of 1900. She 
is ample and strong, but seems no longer gross, while the face that 
we see is so far away that we imagine it whatever we please. It 
certainly has been purified ; the veil of atmosphere does its part. 

The spacious circle which forms the vestibule to Prospect Park 
makes an admirable setting for the completed monument. The 
whole scene reminds one agreeably of Paris. The arch, while much 
smaller than the Arc de Triomphe, looms up very stately and im- 
posing. Chaste in contour and rich in the sculptural color of these 
two masses of bronze, it is fitly crowned by its great quadriga, which, 
in the early morning and at sunset, glows against the deep blue of 
the sky, a ruddy apotheosis of the Republic in a chariot of fire. 
Bearing aloft her oriflamme and heralded by winged victories whose 
trumpets are almost vibrant, " America " surveys content the busy 
but peaceful land spread out before her. The brave spirits of the 
past have done their work well, but it is not useless that their deeds 
of valor should be thus rehearsed in bronze and stone. For centuries, 
it may be, these sculptured heroes will tell their story of the price of 
our national existence and shout their appeal to drowsing loyalty. 



554 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



Within their breasts of metal the artist has imprisoned the very 
essence of patriotism and the unconquerable spirit of war. The 
Brooklyn Memorial Arch offers a gratifying example of a great 
sculptural idea, nobly inspired and effectively carried out. 

Of quite different mood are the gigantic " Horse Tamers" (Fig. 
54), which adorn another entrance to Prospect Park and which 
also formed part of Mr. MacMonnies's remarkable exhibit at the Ex- 




Fig. 54. — MacMonnies: Horse Tamers, Brooklyn. 

position of 1900. These fantastic works show enormous decorative 
chargers which play tricks and take astonishing poses in order to 
make picturesque sculptural compositions of themselves. In auda- 
cious enterprises of this sort Mr. MacMonnies has all the cleverness 
of the French. His unruly steeds are reminiscent of Regnault's 
picture of " Automedon with the Horses of Achilles," rather than of 
the sculptured "Chevaux de Marly" on the Champs Elysees, there 
being two horses in each group ; but the diminutive groom rides the 



FREDERICK MACMONNIES 355 

one while training the other. All do their part well; one does not 
see how they could be improved upon, if it is " color " and restless- 
ness that one desires. 

Before ceasing from his labors and thus bringing to a close the 
first cycle of his artistic career, Mr. MacMonnies executed during 
1900 and 1 90 1 an admirable standing figure of his friend and patron, 
General Woodward of Brooklyn, and a spirited equestrian statue 
of General Slocum for the same city. These, with a considerable 
number of medallions, reliefs, and statuettes, round out the almost 
unprecedented achievement of thirteen years. 

Mr. MacMonnies has been criticised for lack of spirituality, of 
depth, and beside certain of our sculptors this deficiency is evident 
enough ; but it is almost as unreasonable to find fault with him for 
what he lacks as it is to reproach him for his facility, though even 
this has been done by lovers of conscientious and obvious toil. To 
learn to appreciate his sincere contribution is better business. After 
all, a work of art is for the individual who responds to it. One who 
is enamoured of the naivete of the early Florentines may not relish 
the modernity of Mr. MacMonnies. If he be eclectic enough to 
enjoy both, so much the better for him. Certain it is that Mr. 
MacMonnies has made a notable contribution which cannot help 
but raise the standard of American sculpture in the future as it has 
already done in his own time. 



CHAPTER XIX 

GEORGE GREY BARNARD 

Mr. Barnard is a Westerner, although he chanced to be born 
in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, where his parents were temporarily 
residing in 1863. The sculptor's father is a clergyman, and the 
fortunes of the ministry afterward led him to Chicago, and thence 
to Muscatine, Iowa, where the son passed his boyhood. An old 
friend writes of Barnard's youth : " One of his first boyish passions 
was for birds and animals, and he made many solitary excursions in 
the woods across the Mississippi River from his home. As a result 
of these wanderings he surrounded himself with a remarkable collec- 
tion of living and stuffed creatures. In a short time he became a 
self-taught but expert taxidermist and brought together a collection 
of hundreds of fine specimens. His menagerie and museum occupied 
the barn and the attic of the parsonage. He was always ' trying his 
hand ' at some new thine:, testing his latent resources. In the native 
clay he began modelling birds and animals, and his success finally 
led him to attempt a more ambitious task in this new line of effort, 
a portrait of his small sister. The likeness which he obtained was 
so faithful that it aroused the admiration of the entire village. 
However, the good, ' practical ' people of the town felt that so great 
a skill of hand and eye should be turned into a means of gain- 
ing him a certain livelihood, and he entered the local jewelry 
store as an apprentice. In this trade, and particularly as an 
engraver and letterer, he soon became an expert. The longing 
for an art career was by this time thoroughly awakened in him, 
and he came to Chicago. This move was ostensibly to pursue 
his trade and to bring himself to a higher degree of proficiency 
therein — a plan which he took steps to carry out immediately upon 
his arrival. 

356 




PLATE XL 



BARNARD: THE TWO NATURES. METROPOLITAN MUSEUM. 

NEW YORK. 






GEORG 



Mr. Barnard be born 

ml 
cling in 
fortunes of 
to Muse 
frie i 

cle many solitary excursions in 
the issippi Rivt As a result 

. nded himself with a remarkable collec- 
tion of living and stuffed creatures. In a short time he became a 
self-taught but expert taxidermist and brought to ction 

fine specimens. His menagerie and museum o 
] the attic of the parsonage. He 
hand 'at m is latent resources. In th 

nimals, and his success finally 
led him tious cask in t] ne of effort, 

a pi 
so faith! 

:ill of ha 

aver, and k 
for an art c 
and he came to C 

'ring hi; of proficiency 

— a plan which he carry out immediately upon 

.IX STAJ*] 

32UM HATUCHOflTHM ,23>?§rTAkl OWT 3HT :dflAHHAa 
.XflOY W3H 



rhe likeness which he obtained 

liration of the entire village. 
: of the town felt that so great 



rned into a 


ms of gain- 




! jewelry 




is an 


?cam 


longing 




ned in him, 




nsibly to pursue 



GEORGE GREY BARNARD 357 

" He had not, however, been long at work under one of the 
best engravers in the city when the desire to become a sculptor 
got the upper hand of him. For several months the boy waged 
a constant battle of deliberation between his art ambitions and his 
trade. By means of the latter he could earn what was then a very 
handsome salary for a young craftsman, as he was recognized as a 
workman of superior abilities. On the other hand, if he chose to 
learn how to model it was equally certain that he could earn, for 
the time being, at least, practically nothing. On the one hand 
he was assured comfort ; on the other unknown privations." 

Mr. Barnard decided to study sculpture and entered the Art 
Institute of Chicago, where he remained about a year and a half, 
when an order for a bust of a little girl brought him the sum of 
$350. On this meagre allowance he set off for Paris in Novem- 
ber, 1S83. He soon became known as the hardest worker among 
the Americans there, having neither money nor the disposition to 
join in the student diversions. Few, if any, knew him intimately, 
but all respected him. He remained for three years and a half in 
the Atelier Cavelier of the Beaux-Arts, working with a fiery dili- 
gence and laying up the stores of knowledge and skill with which 
he has since astonished the art world. No day was allowed to 
pass without paying tribute. It is given to few sane men to take 
life so seriously. 

The first year in Paris cost Mr. Barnard just $89. One can 
readily understand that life might wear a serious look under such 
circumstances. But no imagination can fully picture the ever 
present sense of privation, the constant reminder of things desired 
only to be denied, the tantalizing memories of abundant home life. 
It is remarkable that the student escaped with his health. Evi- 
dently he used good sense in his enforced economies. Perhaps he 
was already immune. At any rate, he emerged from his various 
experiments in dieting with one of the finest physiques to be found 
among all the brotherhood. To see him at work one feels that the 
chisel belongs by right in his powerful hands. He is the ideal 
hewer of marble. 

It would be a mistake to imagine that the young sculptor was 
morose, or bore his trials with an air of martyrdom. He was not 



35S THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

of that kind. There were plenty of others ready to pour their 
woes into sympathetic ears, but Barnard never complained ; these 
conditions were a matter of course — things of his own choosing. 
Later he grew to be even more of a recluse, shutting himself up 
persistently in his studio, emerging only at night, when he walked 
the streets of Paris, lost in the dreams of ambition. It was a 
trying period of incubation and brooding, but out of it came 
great things. It made his exhibit of 1S94 possible. It gave him 
his standing to-day in the world of art. 

The first of his noteworthy productions was the " Boy," which 
he began long before his school training was over and which he 
finished in marble in 18S5. In this conception of a crouching 
child, with a bowed head, he shows as plainly as in his latest works 
his feeling for an art essentially glyptic in character. The figure 
is not merely a boy carved in marble, but a figure conceived for 
the marble and expressed in purely sculptural terms. It has a 
restful, self-supporting completeness about it, an arrangement which 
is satisfying to the eye, regardless of its significance. Not a few 
noted sculptors professedly working for the marble miss this con- 
stantly. They do not have that intuitive sense of the material 
which Mr. Barnard never fails to illustrate. Where he acquired 
this peculiar instinct no man knows. It antedates the instruction 
of venerable M. Cavelier, whose art suo-o-ests cabinet-makino- in 
marble. It could not have been derived from his training as an 
engraver, nor from stuffing birds. One does not find in his 
father's sermons more plausible explanation than in his gentle 
mother's practice upon the " first piano in Chicago." But the gift 
he has, and in a more marked degree than any other sculptor of 
America. With it he possesses the training to make it available. 
One perceives also that in the exquisite modelling of this " Boy " 
and in the delicate blending of its contours with the rugged rock 
surfaces the artist shows the same qualities which we shall find 
giving charm to his later works. He was already himself — even 
before he be°"an. What a saving of time ! 

In 1SS6 Mr. Barnard modelled a heroic-sized statue of "Cain," 
which he afterward destroyed, and in 1887, having received an order 
from a Norwegian for a tombstone, he conceived and wrought out 



GEORGE GREY BARNARD 



359 



his poetic symbol of " Brotherly Love," a strange, massive block, in 
which two nude figures are shown but partially detached. The faces 
are concealed, but their powerful frames are full of character and 
individuality. Of this memorial Mr. W. A. Coffin has written 
appreciatively : " The ' Brotherly Love ' violates some of our tradi- 
tions, but it is beautiful and possesses a weird, indescribable 
charm. It is a group intended for a tomb, and shows the figures of 
two nude young men whose heads are partly buried in the roughly 
hewn marble which forms the bulk of the monument, and whose 
hands seem to have forced their way through it and to be searching 
each other's grasp. I suppose that the marble mass may typify rock 
or darkness, or eternity, or something else tangible or intangible, 
and that the brothers are groping through it to join each other after 
death." 1 

It has been said that a poet is entitled to credit for anything that 
his poems suggest. If the same applies to sculpture, Mr. Barnard 
may claim on this work a bountiful royalty, for it has been inter- 
preted in many ways : " Life drawn unto Death," " Life reclaimed 
by Relentless Matter — Earth," "For now we see through a glass, 
darkly; but then face to face," "Sympathy," and the like. The 
original idea of the artist was, however, " The Unseen Giver," one 
who extends a helping hand without hope of recognition or reward. 

It would seem that only a superficial or prejudiced critic could 
object to the rough rock background when, as here, it forms an essen- 
tial feature of the motif. But so vital an issue is art in France, and 
so virulent its wars, that those who are arrayed against the towering 
genius of Rodin never fail to hit at anything which smacks of his 
influence. Hence we find here and there in the mass of French 
writing on Mr. Barnard's achievements such querulous expressions as 
these : " Like a second Rodin he has the cleverness of handling to 
catch the public, such as in leaving, at times, the statues half in the 
rough. Mr. Barnard ought to leave this last mannerism to those 
who possess less talent. . . . The experiment of leaving the rough 
background we do not think worthy of his talent." Just why a 
sculptor should not be permitted to increase his range of effect by 
this means is not clear. It can be readily overdone, of course, and 

1 Centtiry Magazine Vol. XXXI, p. 879. 



360 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

in many cases might be most inappropriate, but judiciously used the 
rough-hewn background is an effective foil to the carefully modelled 
surface. It is legitimate, because logical in the development of the 
work ; there is nothing adventitious about it, nothing dragged in ; the 
sculptor has merely stayed his hand at this point, elaborating, insist- 
ing upon such things only as he deems worthy of first place. A 
master does not play his composition straight through, with the 
relentlessness of a music-box. Whether upon the organ or the block 
of white stone, he accentuates and shades, using on the one hand 
chisels and rasps and " points," as on the other stops and pedals. 
Furthermore, in sculpture at least, there is created a singular psycho- 
logical impression of force and mastery where the steps of the work 
are boldly recorded. Here, the perfection of sinuous modelling 
and softly blended light and shade ; there, the rough quarry marks. 
From the amorphous boulder to the all but palpitating flesh — behold 
the whole gamut of nature and art. 

Now followed the heroic group which is the best known of Mr. 
Barnard's works, and which occupies, in marble and in plaster, promi- 
nent positions in the Metropolitan Museum of New York and the 
Art Institute of Chicago. "The Two Natures" (PI. XI) was 
suggested by a line of one of Victor Hugo's poems, "_/<? sens deux 
homines en mot." The group was begun in 188S, finished in clay 
in 1S90, and completed in marble during the winter of 1894. 
Two figures are shown : a victor, half erect, half bending over a 
prostrate foe. The bodies are nude, considerably larger than life, 
and powerfully modelled. The attitudes are notably original ; the 
treatment throughout consistently that of the marble. Consistent is 
this strange work, however, in more ways than one. It is consist- 
ently perplexing from its very name and intention all the way down 
to the last touches on its curiously wrought extremities. " I feel 
Two Natures struggling within me" is its full title — the artist's 
point of departure. And depart at once he does. He shows the 
two natures, and the struggle, or at least the end of a vigorous round, 
which leaves the momentary triumph by no means in doubt. But 
here our sculptor is tantalizing; he never deigns to tell us "which 
is which." The inscrutable faces are those of twin brothers, — they 
might have been cast in the same mould, — and to tell the truth they 



GEORGE GREY BARNARD 36 I 

are not prepossessing. Does Mr. Barnard belong to the good old 
school of art where right always triumphs in the last act ? Or does 
he view life with the eye of the hopeless modern " veritist," calmly 
persuaded that " whatever is, is wrong " ? Probably he is doing 
the most modern thing of all — leaving us to guess the riddle as we 
will. And believing in our heart of hearts that right will conquer 
in the end, we read this meaning into the group before us and are 
pleased at our own cleverness in having fathomed the artist's 
intention without his telling us anything. 

Beyond this the work is not winning. It aims no more at grace 
of line than at charm of expression. In the conventional sense it is 
not even a good composition, for it looks more like an accidental 
grouping than like a carefully adjusted harmony of lines. Perhaps it 
is this very lack of convention which fascinates one against his will, 
which draws and holds, though it may not persuade. Mr. Barnard's 
thought is too powerful, his expression too original, to strike respon- 
sive chords at once. How could it? What is there within us to 
respond to such notes as these ? — what in our daily humdrum lives 
to bring us into tune with such Titanic dreams of struggle ? And 
yet there is something of the force — shall we say the uncouthness? 
— of nature about this work which is irresistible. It is unique and 
reminds one of no other; nor can one in its presence look at aught 
else until he has made the circuit of all its extraordinary views. It is 
the manly and not less artistic expression of conflict, in form so new 
and yet so intelligible that its primary significance cannot be mis- 
taken nor its intensity ignored. It is the work of a man who is first 
of all a sculptor. In our admiration for whittling and for clever 
joinery most of us have not yet learned what sculpture is. 

As for the " repose " and " balance " which we are wont to de- 
mand of great works of art, it is evident that the intuition of genius 
could hardly have found a moment better fitted than this for the 
purposes of vital sculpture. With all its rugged unrest of line, the 
group offers absolute repose, though indeed it is the feverish repose 
of breathless men who must stop for an instant or suffocate. The 
shadow of the struggle is over them still ; the fearful embrace again 
so near at hand that we do not at once recognize the absolute immo- 
bility of the moment. In its every member the composition shows 



362 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

the fervid fancy of a strong man who has felt the whole scene. It 
is almost superfluous to point out the poetical advantage of this 
quiescent moment over any incident of the actual struggle. To 
have re-created " The Wrestlers" of antiquity, the usual "Jacob and 
the Angel," or those bloodthirsty men of Copenhagen, would have 
been to remove the whole thing from the realm of spiritual interest 
and to have made of it a prize fight. It would have been an error 
almost as fatal as to transform this impressive group into a con- 
ventionally unified and balanced composition with its comfortable 
denouement assured by every well-established line. 

But there is a balance here as well • — the " balance of power." 
Not the solid symmetry of a pyramidal design, but the fluctuating 
equilibrium of the scales. In its very incompleteness, in the lack 
of finality of composition, the artist has made appeal to our emo- 
tions. He leaves us in suspense. The uncertainty of the outcome 
is written in the fundamental lines of the group. The issue, as with 
each of us, is unknown to the end. Herein lies much of the univer- 
sality of its significance and the potency of its appeal. 

Another extraordinary product of this period was a " Norwegian 
Stove " (1891). A stove in those northern lands is very different 
from our cast-iron affairs, and this important work is far more than a 
mere happy adaptation of design to industrial purposes. Barnard's 
stove, or lofty fireplace, is monumental in size and in conception, 
illustrating in relief various episodes of the wars of man and the 
elements, such as are sung in the old Scandinavian sagas. In one 
portion man is seen struggling with the sea, typified by the formi- 
dable serpent Hidhcegur. The combat is a terrible one. Man is but 
half disengaged from matter, and the serpent is winding itself around 
him, strangling him in its folds. 

With all the intensity of the subject the artist gives us here a 
fine illustration of a master playing with his materials. Parts are so 
fanciful that they might have been suggested by the accidental com- 
binations of unfinished clay figures wrapped in their damp swathings 
and half seen at twilight. The treatment is superbly plastic ; some 
of the forms are only hinted at, but others are wrought with tragic 
earnestness and carried to the last degree of effective finish. The 
sculptor draws the line where he will; he elaborates only what he 




FIG. 55. — BARNARD: THE HEWER. 



GEORGE GREY BARNARD 365 

desires to emphasize. The subtly modelled bodies emerge from a 
mass of rough-hewn stone with an astonishing variety of treatment 
and play of light and shade. The effect of the pile from a distance 
is almost Japanese in its capricious outline ; near at hand one finds 
such workmanship as is learned in Paris alone, and such original 
use of this skill as is found only in the works of reactionaries of the 
modern French school. Mr. Barnard has since united several frag- 
ments of this composition in a sumptuous clock, carved in oak. It 
is one of the most spontaneously artistic products of American 
sculpture, so beautifully decorative are its massings and lines, so fine 
is the sensuous charm of the modelling, and withal — and not to be 
forgotten amid its excellences — so completely convincing is its air 
of painless creation, of easy control. 

Two of the figures from the stove Mr. Barnard carved in marble 
in 1S92. The following year is not accounted for, but was doubtless 
spent largely upon the marble of "The Two Natures." In 1894 he 
also made a reduction of the " Brotherly Love," and a bust of a lady. 

It was in the Salon of the Champ de Mars of 1894 that Mr. 
Barnard made his long-anticipated debut. The result was an even 
greater success than he could have hoped for. To make such an 
impression in artistic Paris is the tantalizing dream of every sculptor 
and painter. Artists and critics united in proclaiming his work the 
sensation of the year ; and the sculptor, now famous, was feted and 
entertained by the great art patrons of Paris. The newspapers were 
loud in their applause. The Figaro said : " Mr. Barnard is possessed 
of very great qualities, the first of which is the freshness of eternal 
youth. We feel the warmth of life itself in all his sculpture, espe- 
cially in his large group ; " the Patrie declared that Mr. Barnard 
was "represented with the most eclat"; the Liberie thought that 
" one must have an extraordinary heroism to attack such marbles as 
these and bring them to completion." 

The verdict was unanimous, and M. Thiebault-Sisson, the 
thoughtful art critic of the Temps, quite went out of his way to 
say : " We have a newcomer, George Grey Barnard, who possesses 
all the qualities of a great master. He belongs to that young and 
virile America, whose efforts are manifested in various forms, for the 
most part unexpected. He demonstrates with a singular power his 



366 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

contempt for conventional methods, and his passionate longing for 
the new and creative in art manifests itself in everything he puts his 
hand to. To him all nature is new, and he has great breadth of con- 
ception. The heroic alone seems capable of attracting him, but an 
heroic special in its kind; — special also in his manner of treating it. 
He does not show us one man battling with another; his conception 
has a far deeper meaning and lesson : man struggling with the ele- 
ments ; man fighting with the inner man, with the baser instincts 
of his nature. He has witnessed the overthrow and fall of the 
noblest in life; the highest aspiration toward good, stifled by the 
meanest brute force in humanity ; and it has been his desire to em- 
body in a colossal group one phase of these innumerable struggles. 
Full on the fallen moral being, instinct plants a triumphant foot ; but 
the victory is doubtful, the victim of an hour revolts ; he trembles, 
he suffers in expiation of his fault, but he will rise again stronger 
and wiser for the contest. 

" In the realization of this conception the artist has exhibited a 
fire and given proof of a knowledge which place him very high in 
his art. Possibly the composition may lack a little of that precision 
and clearness which conventional allegory requires, but in spite of that 
the group has movement and life, and the execution is as bold as it 
is finely shaded. All is said with majestic energy that knows its 
power and scorns useless details. Study these sculptures attentively, 
and you will find them to be works of astonishing genius. If the 
artist has started from principles found in the French masters, 
he has developed all that is essentially his own, and that with an 
extraordinary power. Unless I am greatly mistaken, Mr. Barnard 
is destined to make no small stir in the world." 

Returning to the United States in 1896 Mr. Barnard's first en- 
terprise was to make a public display of his works, which was done 
in the autumn of that year in the Logerot Gardens, New York. 
The singular exhibition was visited by many people and was widely 
discussed in art circles, but did not receive much appreciative 
comment from the press, doubtless because the press did not know 
what to say. The artists, however, were of one accord in their 
recognition of Mr. Barnard's power, and some of them, as Mr. Coffin 
tells us, spoke in superlative terms. 



GEORGE GREY BARNARD 367 

Mr. Brownell has remarked somewhere: "The French sculptor 
may draw his inspirations from the sources of originality itself; his 
audience will measure the result by conventions." Oddly enough, 
however, while the French critics were practically unanimous in 
praise of an artistic talent to which no one can deny an astonishing 
originality, — recognizing its greatness even when mystified by its 
novelty and qualifying their approval of some of its means of 
expression, — the writers of America have been very conservative in 
their acceptance of Mr. Barnard's point of view. In his own country 
he has received a courteous but far from cordial welcome. We are 
too timid ; not sure enough of ourselves. We are afraid that this 
may not be good art. It does not look like things which we have 
seen before. We do not know what to do with it. There has been 
nobody just like George Barnard, so he has not been classified yet. 
He must stand in suspense, like the animals of the Garden of Eden, 
waiting to be named. So much for being a new individual upon the 
face of the earth. Our American sculptors do so little ideal work, 
make so few nude figures, that it is not strange that Mr. Barnard's 
art fails to be appreciated here as it is appreciated in Europe. Mr. 
Coffin observes only too truly: "He is perhaps just a little out of 
the perspective of modern days. We have too much talent, conven- 
tional and tranquil and adaptive in its tendencies, to calmly accept a 
man of striking originality and divergence." 

Having come home with the avowed object of assisting in the 
development of a "national art," Mr. Barnard must have been rather 
bewildered to find himself promptly engaged upon a large statue 
of the " Great God Pan," intended to surmount a rustic fountain 
within the court of an apartment building. It never reached its 
destination, but was called higher, to the adornment of Central 
Park. In common with each of Mr. Barnard's works in turn, it 
has been pronounced " one of the strangest and most original things 
yet done by an American sculptor." Its whimsical novelty is as 
marked as the skill of its execution, — an execution no less cleverly 
adapted to bronze than is most of Mr. Barnard's sculpture to stone. 
One wonders how he ever happened to make this monstrous crea- 
ture. What inspiration could the sculptor of the " Two Natures" 
find in such a subject ? Probably some moss-stained fountain figure 



368 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

of classic Italy gave him the idea, and he overlooked its anachronism 
in his love of muscular modelling, and of nature in general, which Pan 
may still be permitted to typify. The subject is not very interesting, 
however ; the head is too powerfully grotesque, and the misshapen 
legs are unpleasant. The transition of the latter from the human to 
the brutish form should have been made more plausible. Fremiet, 
with far less felicity of surface handling, could have made those 
legs convincing. The venerable master would have made us feel 
sure that if ever there had been such monstrosities, they must have 
been just as he saw fit to fashion them. 

In his New York studio Mr. Barnard has had for some years a 
strikingly novel composition, a sketch model of an enormous group, 
in comparison to which the " Two Natures " is mere child's play. 
The latter was, indeed, but a stepping-stone, leading the imagination 
of the young untrammelled genius to more remarkable excursions. 
Never before has a scene like this been embodied in sculptural 
form. The idea was suggested, doubtless, by those misty legends 
of the North, over which Mr. Barnard pored with the delight of a 
discoverer during the progress of his Norwegian reliefs. A great 
vessel of prehistoric form is seen attacked by a monster of the deep. 
The dread sea-serpent has gathered two or three of the sailors into 
his slimy coils, and, with awful head upraised, threatens the entire 
bark. Upon the shore are other men and women in attitudes of 
dismay and defence. It is a ■' landscape with figures," in sculpture, 
and not even in relief. But there is nothing of the merely pictu- 
resque nor of the trivial in this vast vision of tempestuous struggle. 
To say that it is sculptural in its entirety is more than one would 
venture, for there is nothing in the world with which to compare it. 
But that its elements are inherently monumental cannot be gainsaid. 
Every pose, every group is admirable in line and rich in possibilities. 
The work as a whole, however, is overpowering in its audacity. 

As though in acceptance of the challenge of those wingless 
imaginations which, clinging to the ground, deride all who seek loftier 
flight, Mr. Barnard has demonstrated his ability to realize this gran- 
diose conception, by modelling and carving one of its twenty figures. 
"The Hewer" (Fig. 55), which was finished in 1902 in marble, 
would stand some ten feet high if erect, and with all its perfection 



GEORGE GREY BARNARD 369 

of detail occupied the sculptor many months in the doing. It 
makes no appeal beyond its magnificent craftsmanship, yet there is 
in that superb physique something which almost awes. This giant 
ancestor of ours chops wood ; to many he may say nothing, but to an 
artist his forms are eloquent. Kneeling and breaking the twigs, 
with a stone hatchet clutched in the upraised right hand, his attitude 
is full of strength without strain. The swing of the mighty arm 
brings into play all the powerful muscles of the shoulder and chest. 
The figure shows not only sculptural "bigness," — that breadth of 
treatment which is essential in great art, — but reveals an unusual 
emphasis in the matter of straight lines and planes, which give it 
remarkable carrying power. Close at hand some of these planes 
may appear a trifle arbitrary, but at a distance their value is felt in 
the assurance of structural strength and adequacy which merely 
rounded bulk never conveys. In his use of these firm surfaces, as 
in his knowledge of construction and his subtle and varied model- 
ling, Mr. Barnard has reaffirmed his position as a master. It is safe 
to sav that no other nude figure of the strength of " The Hewer " 
has up to this time been done or even conceived in America. 

Of recent years, a new and tenderer element has entered into 
Mr. Barnard's work, revealing itself in a memorial figure, the " Rose 
Maiden," and again in the more recent " Maidenhood." The first 
of these, which is shut from public view in a mortuary vault at 
Muscatine, Iowa, shows a dreamy girl with bowed head and 
downcast eyes — a conception as different as possible from the pro- 
digious works which we have discussed. The figure is a poem of 
sweetness and mystery and grace, fragrant with the dew of spring 
mornings. She stands with her apron filled with blossoms, regard- 
ing them as though their short, radiant lives were prophetic of her 
own. In this statue the artist has created a work of marked origi- 
nality, the more notable because of the familiarity of the thought. 
He has wrought it out con amove, and it shows the perfection of 
skill and painstaking. Yet for all the delicate details of its work- 
manship, there is no suggestion, in either the elaborately simple 
drapery or the flowers, of fatigue of hand or mind. All remains as 
spontaneously fresh in effect as when the clay received the last 
caress — a rare virtue in sculpture. Then, as if loath to part with 

2 B 



37Q 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULFfURE 



his fair white vision, desiring to pay her yet further tribute, the artist 
carved a pedestal also, overgrown, as it were, with wild roses, and 
bearing many lines of sympathetic verse. The pitfalls of dry, 
monotonous lettering" and of Italian realistic carving of flowers he 
avoids without suggestion of danger. The experiment which in 
most hands would mean failure is here a distinct triumph. The 




Fig. 56. — Barnard: Maidenhood. 

snowy statue in the chill burial-vault of the western river-town 
is a poem of light-winged spring, rapt and bound and forever 
shrouded by untimely frost. 

One day a fair model suggested another beautiful figure, a 
nymph, perhaps, sitting upon the seashore and twining" her hair, all 
unconscious of her chaste nudity, radiant like Venus rising from the 
white sea-foam. The artist has succeeded in transferring his thought 
to the marble, and of conveying to us the pleasure which he has felt. 
Such sweetness and grace of rich feminine forms, such purity of 



GEORGE GREY BARNARD 



371 



line, — and of inspiration as well, — such nobility of countenance 
combined with appealing personality, one finds in few modern 
works. In it are united the heritages of two antiquities : the joy of 
life and the glory of the body which we were taught by old Hellas, 
and the soul which entered with Christianity (Fig. 56). 

It is not the purpose of this work to make comparison between 
contemporaries ; our object is to appreciate and when necessary 
to criticise. The relative value of men and their contributions 
will take care of itself; no living soul can foresee the final rating. 
So when we attribute to Mr. Barnard the largest measure of inspi- 
ration for the purely glyptic art, it is quite another thing from 
claiming that he is destined to be our greatest sculptor. This is for 
others to decide — a hundred years from now. The more plastic art 
which expresses itself by preference in bronze is no less honorably 
sculpture. The magic skill of MacMonnies, the profoundly sym- 
pathetic art of Saint Gaudens, the thoughtful serenity of Daniel 
French, — not to name others, — make in turn their appeal to us. 
We do not have to choose ; it is our privilege to enjoy them all. 

Like these men Mr. Barnard has a pronounced artistic con- 
science. He is working for all time ; he will not be hurried. More 
than once he has occasioned comment by declining important orders 
because of the time-limit set upon them. The fact that he does 
much of his marble-cutting himself reveals his attitude toward his 
work. He has endless capacity for taking pains. But he loves the 
chisel ; the marble is his native element, and he would repel in 
wonder the charge of being "patient." It requires no patience, no 
heroism, to do the things that one most enjoys. 

Beyond its cachet of individuality, above its virility and veiling 
even its extraordinary craftsmanship, another quality already alluded 
to appears in much of Mr. Barnard's work — that touch of the uni- 
versal which is the essence of the highest art. Not only has he the 
vital force to detach and " fix the momentary eminence " of his theme 
so that it holds us " the tyrant of the hour," but he sees in it and 
makes us feel, vaguely at least, a larger meaning. He charges it 
with significance, causing the simple symbol before us to stand for 
the whole world, the common experience of humanity. In a work 
like the Seidel Memorial Urn with its reliefs of the cycle of life we 



372 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



read the "sweet and smart of personal relations, of beating hearts 
and meeting eyes, of poverty and necessity, and hope and fear." 
The constant presence of this larger, almost mystical quality in the 
work of Mr. Barnard calls to mind Professor Barrett Wendell's 
remarks on Emerson : " A dangerous feat, this. Any one may 
attempt it, but most of us would surely fail, uttering mere jargon 
wherein others could discern little beyond our several limitations. 
As we contemplate Emerson, then, our own several infirmities slowly 
reveal to us more and more clearly how true a seer he was. With 
more strenuous vision than is granted to common men, he really 
perceived in the eternities those living facts and lasting thoughts 
which, with all " — But the rest of the paragraph does not apply ! 
Mr. Barnard's attitude is not one of "careless serenity" nor of "in- 
tellectual insolence," but of proud humanity, reverent alike to the 
mysteries above and to those incarnate mysteries here below with 
which we live and hold halting converse. To his ardent imagina- 
tion has been added the patience and precision of utterance of one 
who knows his message to be valuable. 

Mr. Barnard's story of hardship and struggle has an old-fashioned 
and almost improbable ending; the newspapers of August, 1902, con- 
tained the following paragraph : — 

" George Grey Barnard has been selected to execute all of the 
sculpture to adorn the new Capitol building for the state of Pennsyl- 
vania. The plan provides for an elaborate series of groups in four 
general divisions, to cost $300,000. The chief work will be a colos- 
sal bronze group, ' The Apotheosis of Labor,' to stand before the 
base of the dome. The group will be thirty-five feet high, and will 
include three horses. The rest of the sculpture will be of marble. 
The second division will consist of four pairs of caryatides supporting 
this last group. They will represent miners, ironworkers, lumbermen, 
and farmers, the typical forms of labor that have combined to build 
up the state. The third division will comprise two groups of primi- 
tive men, women, and children, to be placed at either side of the main 
entrance. The fourth division is to include four groups to flank the 
subordinate front entrances in the wings. These will portray the four 
classes of people who have made the state what it is, — the Quakers, 
the Scotch-Irish, the English, and the Pennsylvania Dutch." 



BARTLET1 



Paul Wayland Bartlett was boi 



Cor 



in 1865, the son of Truman H. Bartletl 
sculptor. The mother and 

de, and in that vast and perennial arts the 

soon found his vocatio he entered 



the Ecole des Beaux- Arts, \vh 
modelling. 

oven of the French s 
of- the atelier, he ma ttend 

:ed by M. Fre- 
quence " 

earning 
■ tes that 

or harvesters, 
of their sen 
ma)' be 
is a certain I 
decorations of the 1 

led dog of his best make :hed 

embourg. At the Exposition of 
elephant, whose nameless ere:' 

but had great amusement 
ung Bartlett's horn; 
the Rue de Vaugirard, a 
in the woods. Here he had 
.hile still ir 

.0J30WA J3A TT3JT53Aa 



rofieient in 

ing 
tery 



■ 



mtine 
sculpture 

ellishme 
e moc 



the k 







PLATE XII. 
BARTLETT: MICHAEL ANGELO. 



CHAPTER XX 

BARTLETT AND ADAMS 

Paul Wayland Bartlett was born at New Haven, Connecticut, 
in 1865, the son of Truman H. Bartlett of Boston, art critic and 
sculptor. The mother and son went to Paris many years ago to 
reside, and in that vast and perennial exposition of the fine arts the 
boy soon found his vocation. At the early age of fifteen he entered 
the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where he rapidly became proficient in 
modelling. Mr. Bartlett is, and always has been, a worker, making 
his own living from boyhood, and thereby gaining such a mastery 
over the details of his art in all its branches as is possessed by very 
few, even of the French sculptors. In addition to the regular routine 
of the atelier, he managed to attend the course on animal sculpture 
directed by M. Fremiet at the Jardin des Plantes, and in conse- 
quence was able to serve in various studios as an animal specialist, 
thus earning money with which to carry on his own studies. He 
relates that he and M. Gardet used to go about like peripatetic cob- 
blers or harvesters, "doing animals" for whomsoever they found in 
need of their services ; and among the important embellishments of 
Paris may be picked out not a few bits shaped by his boyish hands. 
There is a certain lion, " fierce and terrible," among the modernized 
decorations of the Porte St. Denis, which he modelled, and a three- 
headed dog of his best make is attached to an " Orpheus " in the 
Luxembourg. At the Exposition of Amsterdam was a gigantic 
elephant, whose nameless creator did not work on that occasion 
for glory, but had great amusement with it, none the less. 

Young Bartlett's home was in a quaint little street or passage off 
from the Rue de Vaugirard, a pretty nook, as secluded as though 
in the woods. Here he had a small, vine-covered studio, where he 
began, while still in school, an important work for the Salon, the 

373 



374 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

group of the " Bohemian Bear Trainer." After spending a year 
upon it, he became dissatisfied with the composition and made 
changes involving another year's work. His skill in the modelling 
of animal forms is shown in the delightfully clumsy bear cubs of 
the group in question. The original plaster cast of this early effort 
stands in the Chicago Art Institute ; the bronze is' in the Metro- 
politan Museum of New York. If not a great intellectual triumph, 
it is at least a novel and interesting work of real sculptural quality. 

It gives way in perfection of modelling, however, to the strange 
"Ghost Dancer" (Fig. 57) which was shown at the Columbian 
Exposition, a vicious-looking savage, quite unclothed excepting for 
an imaginary coat of paint. He hops in the loose-jointed way 
characteristic of the Indian dancer, though quite without the cere- 
monial solemnity which always marks this most significant of ab- 
original dances. The brutal head is shaved and decorated with a 
feather, the mouth wide open, the hands hanging like a prairie dog's 
paws on the outstretched arms. In construction and in plastic treat- 
ment of flesh the " Ghost Dancer " was not surpassed by any piece 
of sculpture in the Art Palace, but one was inclined to ask why 
the artist had made it. As in certain of Fremiet's works, the 
interest was ethnological rather than artistic. In one way it was 
doubtless at the time the best American Indian that had been mod- 
elled ; from another point of view it was not even a good Indian. It 
was like a plaster cast from nature put into a difficult pose; infinitely 
skilful in workmanship, but without inspiration or reason. 

Since that time Mr. Bartlett's artistic sense has overtaken his 
manual dexterity, and he has produced more gratifying works. His 
" Dying Lion," though not widely known, is one of the most original 
of them all. The fallen monarch lies low, prone upon the earth, the 
massive head raised upon the upward slant of a rocky ledge, which 
forms his death-bed. The eyes are closed, but the claws still seek 
support and clamp themselves like springs of steel upon the stony 
pillow. It is doubtful if Barye himself ever did anything of greater 
dramatic power, while the perfection of the workmanship shows a 
knowledge and skill which establish Mr. Bartlett's position among 
the best of the living sculptors of animals. This tense body isno 
mere catalogue of bones and muscles, but a beautiful harmony of ex- 



BARTLETT AND ADAMS 



375 



pressive forms. If we can trace in it the dissected frame-work, with 
everything accounted for and in the right place, there is on the other 
hand such charm of modelling, such delicacy of touch and flow of 
surface within the bolder masses, that the play of light and shade 
is exquisitely tender and decorative. It possesses another quality, 
strangely rare in 
works of our time — 
a perfect fitness of 
method to the mate- 
rial employed or in 
view. This almost 
Assyrian epitome of 
the lion is not a 
direct imitation of 
nature ; it is an adap- 
tation. It is not re- 
alistic, not a petrified 
lion, but a distinct 
creation. It is, first 
of all, " sculptural." 

Mr. B a r 1 1 e 1 1 
made, in the Salon 
of 1895, an extraor- 
dinary display of 
small bronzes : bee- 
tles, fishes, reptiles, 
and crustaceans. In 
them his profound study of bronze-casting in its most difficult forms, 
and his skill with patinas (coloring of bronzes), shows to great advan- 
tage. His beetles and reptiles were tiny masses of modelled metal 
of such wealth of color as one could scarcely believe possible outside 
of the realm of precious stones, — rich golden browns and greens, 
iridescent and brilliant in the light and intense and deep in their 
shadows, effects as of metallic jasper and beryl and agate and of 
vibrant blue, like azurite ; the mimicry of the work of centuries. It 
was apropos of Mr. Bartlett's studies in this field that the late Jean 
Carries, France's remarkable potter-sculptor, expressed himself: — 




Fig. 57. — Baktlett: The Ghost Dancer, 
Pennsylvania Academy. 



376 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

" He reminds me of one of those artisans of the Renaissance who 
had nothing but art in view and in mind — of those artists who, 
jealous of the perfection of their work, would not think of leav- 
ing anything of it, however menial, to be done by other hands ; 
who were masters of a foundry as well as a studio, and to whom 
the smallest details to ennoble a work of art were as important as 
the conception. Unfortunately the majority of the artists of to-day 
are not sufficient artisans. In ancient times it was thought natural 
for an artist to be an architect and at the same time a sculptor, as 
the Gothics were ; then for artists to sculpture in marble and stone 
and be able to cast in bronze like Donatello, or be a jeweler, sculptor, 
and founder, like Benvenuto Cellini. Nor were they satisfied to be 
chisellers in stone and precious metal; most of them were past masters 
in the art of painting, and they painted their pictures scientifically; 
they themselves preparing their colors, and oftentimes inventing 
them in secret. To-day we have great artists, but no masters. Very 
few modern works combine taste and execution. We French have 
a great reputation for taste; but, unfortunately, we are in too great a 
hurry, and we leave the execution to practitioners, and nothing could 
be more fatal to works of real art. Execution in sculpture is as im- 
portant as in painting, and the rules must be practised according 
to the material employed. It stands to reason that modelling in 
soft clay is very different from chiselling in stone, and as stone 
is the material in which the model will finally be made, sculptors 
ought to see the importance, as did the ancients, of working it 
themselves. 

" Bartlett spends his days in his studio, in his foundry, not only 
giving life to his conceptions and modelling them in clay, but after 
the selection of the material it is he who cuts and chisels. He 
works like the ancient artisan who spent days locked up in his 
studio to discover an artistic effect, which to the casual observer may 
pass unnoticed ; but which, to future connoisseurs, may establish not 
only the lasting reputation of the artist, but elevate national art. 
When his mind is fatigued with working at some grand piece of 
sculpture, he seeks relief in modelling curious reptiles, small objects 
of art, and he himself casts them a cire perdue; then comes the most 
fascinating of his occupations, the making of patinas. Paul Bartlett's 



BARTLETT AND ADAMS 



111 



patinas vie with those of the old Japanese artists ; they are simply 
most admirable." 

In studying the circle of bronze effigies which decorate the 
rotunda of the Congressional Library it may be thought that Mr. 
Bartlett was, in the allotment of subjects, the most fortunate of all 
the sculptors employed. Be that as it may, he distinguished himself 
there as did few of his colleagues. Some of our best artists made 
but commonplace returns in this friendly rivalry. Though most of 
the sixteen figures are sufficiently well modelled for their elevated 
position, the poses are as a rule feeble and uninteresting. The lines 
do not "carry." Mr. Bartlett's "Columbus" (Fig. 59) has a 
distinct thought, and here, as in his " Michael Angelo " the han- 
dling is vigorous and definite enough to mean something at a 
distance. One questions if a figure with uplifted face is quite 
suited to an elevation where it can be seen only from directly below, 
but the face invisible is better than one which means nothing, upon 
a body without action. At any rate, the " Columbus," among all 
these figures, stands out clear in memory as an original and spon- 
taneous conception. It shows us the discoverer in a new light ; no 
longer the gentle dreamer, the eloquent pleader, the enthusiast, nor 
yet the silent victim in chains, but a hero of might and confidence 
hurling proud defiance at his calumniators. 

He is standing, perhaps, in the presence of the sovereigns to 
whom he has given a new realm. We may imagine him interrupted 
in his account by one of those persistent enemies who surrounded 
him here to belittle his triumph as they once gathered to thwart his 
project. He pauses in his story, and crushing the maps in his left 
hand, throws his head back like a creature at bay. Do his eyes seek 
the throne in wrathful inquiry, demanding protection? or is he look- 
ing to a higher power for the vindication which only the centuries 
may bring ? 

The novelty of the motif interests at once, and the sculptor's 
large treatment of lines and surfaces is found to be consistently 
adequate. The eyes are deep set, the nose and chin strongly pro- 
nounced ; the hair falls in bushy masses around the powerful neck. 
In the handling of the costume Mr. Bartlett is no less successful. 
He is one of the few who know how to retain in the finished work 



378 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

the freshness and " color " of a sketch. All details are sufficiently 
emphasized to give the effect of completeness ; there is no sense of 
neglect, and yet nothing is treated literally. Along with infinite 
variety of plastic manipulation, little accidents of surface freshen 
and keep alive the firmly modelled planes. Here and there forms 
are eliminated ; edges particularly must be lost sometimes in order 
that the work may gain the higher truth of variety and movement. 
Just how to compass this is Mr. Bartlett's secret. No sculptor of a 
generation ago had guessed these possibilities of the material. Such 
zest of handling is distinctly of to-day. Notice, for instance, the 
maps which the great discoverer crumples in his vehement grasp ; 
they have in them all the technical charm of modern art. Sheets of 
paper or of vellum are sharp and thin ; as treated by the earlier men, 
nothing could be more unsculptural ; but here they contribute in no 
small measure to the beauty as well as the significance of the statue. 
How ingeniously, how easily it has been managed ! The slightly 
separated sheets form a solid mass, as the eye would see them at a 
distance. This mass appears firm and distinct in outline, yet is 
cleverly broken up and filled with light and shade. The traditional 
tinlike sculptured map, if inserted here, would change the character 
of the whole work. 

The same felicity of surface handling characterizes the sombre 
"Michael Angelo " (PL XII). The skin-tight nether garments and 
the broad surface of the heavy apron caught up under one arm 
contrast effectively with the lighter material of the sleeves. The 
hands are heavy-veined ; the face is deep-furrowed yet fittingly plas- 
tic. But to speak first of the technic of this extraordinary work is 
to show disrespect to its author, who has subordinated every touch, 
every detail, to the building up here of a distinct and lofty person- 
ality ; who has succeeded in conveying a vivid notion of the char- 
acter of his subject. The short, gnomelike figure with stumpy legs ; 
the big, powerful hands ; the stern face, rough-hewn, with its frown 
and tight lips — all these conspire to make of this at first sight an 
unwinning presentment of the great artist ; but it has the quality 
which will outlive all others, excepting that portrait which we would 
readily believe the master once painted of himself and which has 
evidently inspired this statue. 




FIG. 58. — BAR! LETT : LAFAYETTE, PARIS. 



BARTLE1T AND ADAMS 38 1 

The adequacy of Mr. Bartlett's characterization of these two men 
goes far to prove his own largeness as an artist. He has not made 
his subjects attractive, but he has shown them powerful, sufficient, 
and therefore convincing. He has appreciated them and has risen, 
for the moment at least, to their height. Marshalling in memory 
the various Italian conceptions of Michael Angelo — of the girl- 
boy Michaels carving the satyr face, of the inane youths, of the 
suave and picturesque gentlemen toying with mallets — which have 
libelled his immortal name, one rejoices that it was left to an Ameri- 
can sculptor to grasp thus nobly his character and to create the one 
worthy representation of the mighty Florentine. This man might 
have carved the " Moses," might have toiled alone for years on the 
scaffolding of the Sistine Chapel, might have lived " the tragedy of 
the Tomb," might have withstood the arrogant Julius, might have 
bowed in proud humility to the reproaches of an ungrateful and fault- 
finding father, might have wept over unhappy Florence, and have 
exulted with a fierce joy in the downfall of her enemies. Such a 
man one finds in the "Michael Angelo" of Paul Bartlett; such a 
man is found in no other effigy of the great master. 

With works like these already accomplished, yet more may 
be safely predicted. The sculptor is a growing man, and his 
greatest achievements are still to come. We may count upon his 
excelling in the weighty undertaking which now occupies his mind 
and hand. His equestrian figure of Lafayette (Fig. 58) will stand 
in one of the most coveted sites in all Paris ; it is to be erected in 
the Place du Carrousel, within the court of the Tuileries. In allow- 
ing Mr. Bartlett to aspire to the decoration of this square — the very 
jewel-case of the palace demesne — the present architect of the 
Louvre pays a remarkable compliment to the taste and ability of the 
young American sculptor. A work for such a place of honor in 
Paris must possess more than negative qualifications. It is not 
enough that it should be inoffensive ; it must be strikingly good. 
It must have great qualities of style and it must disclose mastery 
of every sculptural problem. It must be just right in size and in 
perfect harmony with its surroundings, for it cannot be seen apart 
from them. Whatever its inspiration, it must be decorative in effect; 
it is part of an architectural scheme. The silhouette must be care- 



382 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

fully studied, for while few look closely at an equestrian statue, all get 
an impression of it. Thousands will see the " Lafayette " from the 
windows of the palace, to one who approaches its pedestal. There- 
fore its lines must be monumental, strong, and legible, its action and 
significance so simple as to be gathered at a glance. The sculptor 
has described the work and his intention as follows: " Lafayette is 
represented in the statue as a fact and a symbol, offering his sword 
and services to the American colonists in the cause of liberty. He 
is shown sitting firmly on his horse, which he holds vigorously. 
He is attired in the rich embroidered costume of a noble officer. 
His Flemish steed is represented with its mane knotted and tail 
dressed in the style of the time. Lafayette's youthful face is turned 
toward the west, his sheathed sword being slightly uplifted and 
delicately offered. He appears as the emblem of the aristocratic 
and enthusiastic sympathy shown by France to our forefathers. His 
youth, his distinction, his noble bearing, the richness of his costume 
and of the trappings of his horse — everything serves to emphasize 
the difference of his race and his education. An equestrian statue 
of Lafayette is appropriate, for, after landing in South Carolina, 
he rode from Charleston to Philadelphia on horseback, and there 
offered his services to Congress." 

In a secluded studio at St. Leu, a village some fifteen miles to 
the north of Paris, Mr. Bartlett lived almost a hermit's life through- 
out the winter of 1899, working upon the model of this statue like a 
day laborer from early dawn until the light failed at sunset. Here 
he studied his favorite horse, a beautiful creature ; here he devel- 
oped his idea of the young Lafayette, and familiarized himself with 
all the elaborate details of costume and equine accessories of a 
century and a third ago. He gave himself up to this work with a 
concentration and a singleness of purpose which guaranteed success. 
The customary steps were made with unusual precision. First, the 
preliminary sketch, a few inches in height, was doubled in size. 
This more careful study was then reproduced, with many alterations, 
in still larger form — a figure somewhat over one-half life-size, upon 
which the artist put a great amount of labor. The statue was desired 
for the 4th of July, 1900, but the order was given so tardily that it 
was impossible to have the bronze ready. Indeed, the one-third size 



BARTLETT AND ADAMS 383 

model was completed but six weeks before the elate of unveiling. A 
colossal plaster model was therefore prepared and used upon the 
occasion. That even this could be accomplished in six weeks is 
remarkable, but the French are at home in such problems. The 
"working model " was sawed into pieces and distributed in several 
establishments in Paris ; thus the horse and rider developed in various 
parts of the city at the same time. The legs and lower part of the 
horse were built up in a large studio on the Rue de Vaugirard. In 
another atelier, at Montrouge, the upper part and head emerged 
rapidly from chaos ; while over on the other side of the town, at the 
works of the famous Barbedienne, the aristocratic rider was carved 
into shape. These scattered fragments were brought together only 
a day or two before the ceremony, but fitted perfectly. The com- 
pleted group looked down upon a very brilliant scene, and Mr. 
Bartlett's great work was applauded by thousands. 

In his fountain, " The Genius of Man," at the Pan-American 
Exposition, Mr. Bartlett showed his easy mastery of large decorative 
problems. It was his first opportunity, and there was an air of 
exhilaration about the result which gave it a particular charm 
among not a few perfunctory works by those who have seemingly 
passed the age of great enthusiasms. The subject of the fountain 
was sufficiently banal, and the architectural necessities of its in- 
tended position controlled largely the form of the low-lying groups; 
but within their lines Mr. Bartlett produced a vast sketch of much 
intrinsic beauty and of still greater promise. Unable to execute 
personally the large work, or even to superintend the " pointing 
up," he was obliged to abandon it to the tender mercies of the 
plaster-workers. It lost, of course, a great deal in the process of 
enlargement; of the plastic piquancy of the artist's sketch models 
little remained. And when later it was found impracticable to turn 
off the water in order to put the fountain in its rightful place and 
it was left stranded upon a grassy bank near the Art Palace, the 
sculptor may well have felt that he was faring badly. However, 
the environment might have been worse. The chariot and sea- 
horses rose proudly out of rippling waves of verdure, and the ruf- 
fled fishes and unruffled water-babies sported together in the hot 
sunlight, quite unaware that they were not afloat in their natural 



3§4 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



element. The leading lines of the composition were there, and 
great masses of fluttering drapery; even in the crude rendering 
of the plaster-builders there remained a great deal of sculptural 
color. The outriders were admirable ; those great sea-horses in 
detached groups seemed to be every whit as finely conceived as 
the noble creatures which disport themselves in the fountain of the 
Observatory, in Paris. Delightful satellites to these were the cor- 
rugated fishes with their 
baby companions. Possibly 
the fishes were the most 
artistic features of all. With 
them the artist could be 
fantastic and playful, while 
his abundant knowledge 
of the humbler forms of 
animal life safeguarded 
him from any absurdities. 
He had learned his lesson 
and had had his practice 
in Paris upon the little 
bronzes ; now he could take 
liberties as one who knows 
what he is doing. These 
were no cheap imita- 
tions of any particular fish, 
but logical, decorative syn- 
theses of all that their 
creator had learned about 
fishes. 

Since doing this work Mr. Bartlett has spent a year in New 
York, collaborating with Mr. Ward upon the pedimental group of 
the New York Stock Exchange. This important and very success- 
ful composition has already been discussed elsewhere, but it is only 
just to repeat that while the design is Mr. Ward's, the actual model- 
ling of the figures has been entirely the work of Mr. Bartlett. The 
execution is worthy of the design, and the details of " the most for- 
midable piece of combined sculpture yet undertaken in America " 




Fig. 59. — Bartlett : Columbus, Congressional 
Library. 



BARTLETT AND ADAMS 



385 



owe to Mr. Bartlett's skill a beauty of treatment as unfamiliar as it 
is effective. 

Upon the completion of the models of this group, Mr. Bartlett 
returned to Paris, where he has resumed work upon various unfin- 
ished orders, among them being the " Lafayette," an equestrian " Mc- 
Clellan " for Philadelphia, and a " General Warren " for Boston. In 
these and in the works to follow one may count with reasonable cer- 
tainty upon dignified yet vivid renderings of the problems in hand. 
We may even expect surprises, for the man who created the " Michael 
An^elo " and the " Columbus " has not told all that he knows nor all 
that he feels. But whether or not he puts the same dramatic inten- 
sity into his future achievements, Mr. Bartlett will always give us 
good sculpture. His art is essentially monumental, with a happy 
balance between the austere and the more picturesque or plastic 
tendencies ; it may, indeed, be characterized as a union of the better 
qualities of the two. He conceives things simply and fundament- 
ally; he gives them form in legitimate sculptural terms; and to 
these rare virtues he adds the more intimate charm of a delightfully 
varied yet unobtrusive technic. No man is better equipped for his 
work than is Mr. Bartlett, and we have the right to expect from him 
works of preeminent value. 

In sculpture, though the productions of the specialist are eagerly 
sought, it is perhaps fortunate that the requirements of study and 
the exigencies of professional life widen the general scope rather 
than develop any particular line of work. The opportunities which 
come are seldom exactly what the practitioner would himself have 
chosen, and even when an artist is granted absolute choice, he not 
infrequently mistakes his own powers — as he may have done in his 
original choice of a profession. With chances thus moderate the 
average sculptor is content to work out his own salvation on such 
lines as offer, trusting for reward in the calmer joys of the studio 
rather than in an exalted reputation. 

Occasionally, however, there is a happy concurrence of apti- 
tude, training and opportunity leading to distinct and unusual 
achievement. In Mr. Herbert Adams the whole fraternity recog- 
nizes a master almost unequalled in a certain form of sculpture as 
rare as it is exquisite — the creation of beautiful busts of women. If 
2 c 



386 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

attention is directed particularly to these works rather than to Mr. 
Adams's other productions, it is not because the latter are to be depre- 
ciated or can be. He is an accomplished sculptor and knows every 
branch of his art, but there is nothing so distinctive in his figures 
of men. His " Professor Henry" and his "Charming," for instance, 
might have been clone equally well by any one of twenty sculptors, 
whereas in these female heads he transcends almost every one we 
know in modern sculpture, not only being without rivals in this 
country, but being unsurpassed in France. Indeed, a retrospect of 
the history of sculpture brings to light but few busts approaching in 
elegance the works of Herbert Adams. 

Mr. Adams was born at West Concord, Vermont, on Jan. 28, 
1858. He received his general education in the grammar and high 
schools of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, where his boyhood was passed, 
and his special education at the Worcester Institute of Technology 
and at the Massachusetts Normal Art School. This was followed 
by five years of study in Paris, where in 1SS7 he modelled his first 
notable bust, a portrait of Miss Adeline V. Pond, who afterward be- 
came his wife. It was in Paris also that his earliest work with the 
figure was produced — a fountain for Fitchburg, Massachusetts, 
showing a bronze group of two boys at play with some turtles, 
modelled in 18S8 and cast by the c ire perdue process in Brussels. 

On his return to America, in 1890, Mr. Adams was engaged as 
an instructor in the Art School of Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, where 
he criticised the modelling for eight years. During this time he 
produced, besides a number of busts, the Pratt Memorial Angel 
for the Baptist Emmanuel Church, Brooklyn ; the Hoyt Memorial 
in the Judson Memorial Church, New York ; a number of works for 
the Congressional Library, including the bronze statue of Professor 
Joseph Henry in the rotunda, and the bronze doors representing 
" Writing," the commission for which had been given originally to 
Olin Warner, but which was intrusted after his death to Mr. Adams. 
Following these came the Welch Memorial, a work in marble for the 
Auburn Theological Seminary; the Jonathan Edwards Memorial, a 
bronze relief for the church at Northampton ; the Bulfinch Memorial 
tablets in bronze for the Boston State House ; the bronze statue of 
the type founder, Richard Smith of Philadelphia ; the statue of 



BARTLETT AND ADAMS 387 

William Ellery Channing erected in 1902 in Boston; and a pair 
of bronze doors for the Vanderbilt Memorial, Saint Bartholomew's 
Church, New York. Nor should we forget such beautiful though 
ephemeral works as the colossal nude, " Light," which crowned the 
electric tower at the Buffalo Exhibition, and the graceful " Victories " 
which lined the approach to the so-called " Dewey Arch " in New 
York. 

Mr. Adams's early portrait of Miss Pond (Fig. 60) still remains 
in some sense unsurpassed by his later achievement ; he has never 
done another quite so sympathetically. Despite the time put upon 
it, this bust has an air of unusual spontaneity and seems to have been 
the result of mere toying with the clay. For although executed in 
marble, the effect is of such perfect mastery that the face and neck, 
at least, appear plastic, as if responsive like wax to the pressure 
of the artist's thumb. The conception had a certain quaintness 
which accords well with the piquancy of the thoughtful face. In 
harmony with it the hair was arranged in a fashion somewhat out of 
date, high on the back of the head and partially covering the ears 
with its flowing tresses — quite different, however, from the hood- 
like coiffures of our grandmothers. The costume is admirably 
adapted to sculptural expression. There are moderately puffed sleeves 
which lose themselves in the square base, and the tight-fitting bodice 
and shoulders are covered with a filmy kerchief which is in reality 
but little more than a change in the direction of the chisel strokes. 

For, be it understood, this is not one of those time-honored 
busts from Italy, " finished " all over with impartial file and sand- 
paper, and cut off abruptly to suit the purchaser. Mr. Adams's 
busts are conceived as works of art, complete in themselves, as bust- 
portraits are conceived by good painters. The face is emphasized 
as the centre of interest, and other parts accentuated with diminish- 
ing force according to their distance from this focal point. This 
particular face lent itself unusually well to sculptural treatment, for 
it shows both beauty of form and character. The eyes are large 
and alert — wonderfully has the sculptor suggested them; the 
straight nose is distinguished, and the mouth is of the kind that 
artists seek, with lips of full rich curves sinking into shadowy 
corners, wherein are sensibility and strength as well as kindliness; 



388 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

the chin is that of a New England maiden who knows her mind and 
is able to express it. Every inch of this surface is exquisite ; every 
stroke of the chisel has been firm and yet so tender. The solid 
structure is not only clothed in softly rounded flesh, but is envel- 
oped in "atmosphere." No part is quite so distinct as it is actu- 
ally in nature, because the effect would be unreal. We seldom 
scrutinize one another closely, and this veil is just enough to give the 
illusion of life and movement, the equivalent of the composite im- 
pressions which come in everyday intercourse. Here it is the 
response of one who listens intently. The lifted eyebrows and wide 
open eyelids have a question in them, and somewhat of the wonder 
of a child looking out upon a strange world. How far is the look 
of their shadowy depths removed from the blankness of the old- 
time orbs ! There is mystery in these and a charm that we have 
found nowhere else. But with all their illusiveness they do not lack 
good drawing ; the cheeks are not only well-rounded, but are perfect 
in form ; the delicate mouth is as true as it is subtle. The per- 
fection of the hair — perfect because incomplete — has proved a rev- 
elation to the best of our sculptors. It is not machine-grooved, nor 
even insistent upon fact ; but the magic touch is there, with the play- 
ful liorhts and shadows which give truth of effect. We have here the 
acme of modern marble-cutting in the contrast between the delicately 
accentuated features and the airy freedom of these irrepressible locks. 
How the sculptor has delighted in their doing and in their undoing! 
The neck and bosom show as profound study as does the face, and 
as easily expressed, without thought of labor. The shoulders slope 
gracefully, as women's shoulders have since the beginning of time, 
and are lightly covered ; that is, we accept as thin drapery these 
fascinating strokes of the chisel which trace the imaginary kerchief 
and pin it under the bosom. There is a delightfully human touch 
about the unfinished base where the artist had outlined mouldings 
and begun his perfunctory " eggs and darts," then, wearying, threw 
across them a sprig of spring buds and ceased his labors. 

This bust was shown at the Columbian Exposition with another 
in marble called " Primavera," and a beautiful colored bust of " Saint 
Agnes " which attracted much notice. Succeeding exhibitions have 
been adorned by various works of the same exquisite character, like 







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FIG. 6o. — ADAMS: PORTRAIT BUST. 



BARTLETT AND ADAMS 



391 



the " Portrait of a Young Lady " in tinted marble with bronze deco- 
rations ; the " Rabbi's Daughter," in pink marble, with dress and 
ample widespread sleeves in wood, with gold decorations; and the 
portrait of Miss Julia Marlowe, — all of which were seen at the Pan- 
American Exposition of 1901. All show the qualities of the first, 
and demonstrate the truly artistic temperament of their author. It 
is in his choice and treatment of these heads that Mr. Adams reveals 
his true personality. It is as impossible for him to represent what 
is ungracious and unrefined as it is for him to be crude in workman- 
ship. No man could hold such lofty ideals as are his unless he 
were of the most sensitive and sympathetic fibre. No man could 
devise and carry through such a decorative scheme as, for instance, 
that presented by the " Rabbi's Daughter," with its elaborate wood- 
carving and metal fashioning, unless he sincerely loved the details 
of the work and delighted in the very feeling of the materials. In 
this respect Mr. Adams is closely akin to M. Dampt and M. Riviere- 
Theodore, the French sculptors, not to go farther back in the history 
of the art. 

- As has been shown, these heads form but a small part of Mr. 
Adams's productions, and we may look for the same qualities in 
his larger works. The figures in relief of the Hoyt Memorial were 
of singular charm, winning the applause of all at the exhibition 
of the National Sculpture Society in 1S95. Of a graver note is 
the Welch Memorial, a marble triptych in which the deceased min- 
ister is pictured half length, as seen in the pulpit, upon the central 
panel, while kneeling figures are shown bearing churchly attributes 
upon either side. The perils and pitfalls of low relief have been 
avoided with consummate skill, and the result is a joy to the eye 
as well as to the intelligence. One of these kneeling women is 
among the gems of American sculpture. The standing angel of the 
Pratt Memorial is likewise a work of gratifying purity and elevation. 
The bronze doors for St. Bartholomew's Church, New York, are 
elaborately decorated with Scripture subjects in high relief. Above 
them a semicircular tympanum (Fig. 61), the model of which 
was seen at the 1902 exhibit of the Sculpture Society, pictures 
the Madonna and Child within a wreath held by two kneeling 
maidens. The inspiration of this relief, which is a work of great 



392 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



delicacy and tenderness, will be traced by many to Luca della 
Robbia, because we are familiar with reliefs of this form attributed 
to him, but beyond the roundel of fruit the suggestion is rather of 
Desiderio. This smiling Madonna and Child and their sweet-faced 
attendants, though so simply treated as to be almost classic, have 
more complex mentalities than we ever find in Della Robbia's 
glorified peasants. Though physically naive, they have not only 




Fig. 6i. — Adams: Tympanum, Saint Bartholomew's Church, New York. 



souls but a fair share of worldly wisdom behind their placid fea- 
tures. Indeed, in amiable intelligence they approach the expres- 
siveness of the drooping-eyed Madonna and Child of the famous 
tomb of the Cardinal of Portugal. The attendant figures are much 
less agitated, however, than are those of Rossellino's masterpiece. 
They take their places quietly, with a thoughtful regard for archi- 
tectural conditions that further enhances our respect for their 
graces of mind. It is hard to be naif " to order," and Mr. Adams 
has prudently compromised with the advance of civilization. He 
has created something beautiful on old-time lines ; he has even kept 
the fragrance of the fifteenth century ; but he has been wise 
enough to acknowledge that this is a tableau, a dream, — some- 
thing akin to Abbott Thayer's "Modern Virgin Enthroned," — and 
not the reality. His honesty, which may have been inevitable, 
disarms criticism, and we can enjoy without stint the grace, the 



BARTLETT AND ADAMS 393 

tenderness, and the very real if unobtrusive originality of the relief 
which lies to so great an extent in the personal note of its work- 
manship. In suggesting that this frank modernity was inevitable, 
we would not set bounds to Mr. Adams's skill, for he knows how 
to model a Florentine relief that would deceive the very elect ; 
but with his artistic temperament he could not bring himself to 
sacrifice his own identity in any work. Sympathetic as he is with 
the early Italians, he is nevertheless quite of his own time, and, 
consciously or not, impresses the seal of his own vision upon all 
that he does. In these faces, in particular, Mr. Adams shows again 
the cherished ideal which is his distinctive possession. 



CHAPTER XXI 

NIEHAUS AND BOYLE 

Charles Niehaus has never done anything finer than his earli- 
est public monument, the " Garfield " of Cincinnati (Fig. 62). It was 
his first commission, and, just home from study abroad, the sculptor 
put into it all of the enthusiasm of ambitious youth animated by love 
of the work and reenforced by the lure of a reputation to be won. 

Mr. Niehaus was fortunate from the outset. His conception of 
the man was adequate. The figure has dignity, distinction, and per- 
sonality. It is one of the few oratorical statues which do not antag- 
onize at first sight. An uplifted arm is usually a danger signal — 
a warning of an impotent and inexpressive work ; but this silent 
speaker is eloquent. We do not resent his gesture as we do that 
of Story's " Edward Everett " in Boston. With that figure the 
swing of the arm is everything ; here there is something more ; the 
moderate gesture is part of the man, and the whole man is behind 
it. The " Garfield " shows more charm of modelling than any of 
Mr. Niehaus's subsequent works. The treatment is firm, the draw- 
ing admirable, and to those fundamental qualities the sculptor has 
added a delightful play of textures. The drapery is varied and full 
of color ; the head is delightful in its plastic freedom — a freedom 
which is lacking in the " Hahnemann " and in the bust of Mr. 
Ward. The " Garfield " has as good construction as these ; it has 
in addition the quality which means delight — the give and take of 
happy workmanship. 

This artist's great talent is distinctly in the line of monumental 
sculpture. One need not look to him for the expression of the 
gentler graces, nor for a deep emotional cry. Herbert Adams's 
dainty busts are as far outside his scope and his sympathies as are 
Barnard's soul-burdened strugglers. He employs a great variety of 

394 



NIEHAUS AND BOYLE 395 

methods, — his collective works look as though they had come from 
a dozen different hands, — but whatever the style of technic which 
circumstances or momentary whim may dictate, one quality runs 
through all of the vast array of monuments, figures, and reliefs ; — 
every one of them is conceived and bodied forth in the legitimate 
terms of sculpture, and generally, be it said, in sculpture of a very 
high standard. It is a standard of severe probity of line which 
never deigns to be either playful or tender ; never adds to itself the 
grace of picturesqueness, nor offers the piquancy of a surprise, but 
relying upon its own intrinsic dignity, its self-respecting reserve and 
calm, speaks to us with the compelling force of a monumental charac- 
ter who would seem to say, " I am a man." 

This is Mr. Niehaus at his best. When he nods there always 
remains the saving grace of the sculptural conception. He could 
scarcely make a bad sketch. The finished work may prove a dis- 
appointment, but the little model is generally irresistible, not alone 
for the fine detail which beguiles all committees alike, but for the 
rarer and more precious qualities of good composition and artistic 
grasp of the material. Mr. Niehaus is not the only sculptor whose 
work looks better in the sketch than when completed. Few indeed 
are the masters who do not offer us this disappointment over and 
over a°;ain. If it is more noticeable in the work of Mr. Niehaus than 
with some others, this may be due in part to the extraordinary merit 
of the sketch models, whose promise is so tantalizing when it just 
misses fulfilment, and not less to the abundant output of his 
studio. However industrious and however clever, an artist cannot 
be at his best all of the time. When statues are produced by whole- 
sale, certain of them are likely to miss the "loving touch " which 
counts so potently in the personal appeal of a work of art. Not that 
Mr. Niehaus, or any other prosperous New York sculptor, inten- 
tionally slights his work. He is an honorable man, as are they all, 
and spares no pains. But this, if one were inclined to fault-finding, 
is too often the trouble ; the " pains " are there, but not the pleasure. 
The weary artist substitutes faithfulness of detail for the inward 
spirit. He " has not time to be brief," for to summarize means pro- 
found study, while " putting in wrinkles " is only a question of 
patience. 



396 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Take the " Hahnemann " (Fig. 63) as an illustration, because it 
does illustrate so well. Nothing finer in the way of monumental 
portraiture has been conceived in this country for many years. The 
little sketch model, in the Cincinnati Museum, gives a thrill of pleas- 
ure whenever seen. One can hardly say too much in its praise. It 
unites within itself the qualities of a convincing realism and a per- 
vasive ideality — a combination extremely rare. The great scholar 
is pictured to us lost in thought, wrapped in meditation as in the 
great garment which so admirably conceals the artificial accidents 
of modern costume. The masses are big and simple, the lines most 
felicitous, though apparently unsought. Such was the promise of the 
sketch. But there is an appreciable falling off in the completed 
work ; little indeed that one can point out specifically, but a general 
sense of loss and disappointment. The sculptor has produced a fine 
figure and one of the most effective monuments in Washington. 
Doubtless we should be grateful to discover anything so good in the 
city of tiresome monuments, instead of demanding the impossible. 
But it is the penalty of such genuine talent as Mr. Niehaus pos- 
sesses ; he has suggested the very finest thing and then given us less. 

Perhaps, some day, " when the hurly-burly's done," and the fierce 
competition of the artist life in New York has calmed down, the 
sculptor may return to this noble conception and add to its strength 
the visible grace of suave, masterful modelling, — wiping out some 
of those dry wrinkles in the face, modifying the literalness of the 
hand, refreshing the great arid patches of drapery, replacing its 
acute edges with significant planes, and filling these with charming 
color. He knows how ; he has done it more than once. And when 
he shall have gone over the figure thus and allowed himself to enjoy 
it for a while, we shall be ready to enjoy it with him ; there will be 
nothing finer, nothing more impressive, in sculptural portraiture in 
this country. 

It may be added that, whatever the changes over-critical admirers 
may suggest for the sculpture, alteration could scarcely be made to 
advantage in the architectural features of this monument — a beau- 
tiful example of the Greek exedra type. The statue occupies the 
centre of the stone platform, which is approached from the front 
by four steps, and at the back of which rises the superstructure 




FIG. 62. — XIEHAUS: GARFIELD, CINCINNATI. 



NIEHAUS AND BOYLE 



399 



which is elliptical in form. The central portion, forming the back- 
ground of the statue, is composed of four columns supporting an 
entablature. Above this rises what is known as an attic, bearing 
the principal inscription, " Hahnemann." Between the two front 
columns is a niche, which is also elliptical in form, and which termi- 
nates in a semicircular arch. Along the base of the wall are stone 
seats, above which are bronze reliefs picturing the life of the great 
physician. 

For the following facts regarding Mr. Niehaus we are indebted 
to a brochure written by Miss Regina Armstrong in 1902, and em- 
bellished by many examples of the sculptor's productions : — 

" Charles Henry Niehaus, the sculptor, is a Western man, being 
a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he passed the formative years of 
his life. His parents were of German birth, and the artist son, with 
the usual German thrift, was put to making his own living at an 
early age. But fate seems to have directed his earliest efforts toward 
the career he is now identified with, for he successively engaged in 
wood-engraving, stone-cutting, and carving in marble. As a boy he 
was a capable draughtsman, and when chance put some clay into 
his hands, he realized that it was through its medium that his future 
work must be expressed. He became a student at the McMicken 
School of Design in Cincinnati, and there won a first prize in draw- 
ing and modelling. Then, with little equipment and small means, 
but with a full stock of enthusiasm and determination, he made his 
way to Munich, entering the Royal Academy, and quickly winning 
his way to honors and commissions. Among the former was the 
distinction of obtaining, at the time of his matriculation, a first prize, 
medal, and diploma for a composition entitled ' Fleeting Time.' He 
then set out to see the sculpture of the Old World. . . . 

" His return to America and to his native city of Cincinnati was 
almost contemporaneous with the death of President Garfield, and 
sentiment, following the tragic event, provided for memorials to his 
memory. The state of Ohio appropriated funds for a statue of 
Garfield to be placed in the rotunda of the Capitol at Washington, 
and public subscription erected the one now on Race Street, Cincin- 
nati. Both of these commissions were given to the young sculptor 
who had returned to his native state with honors won abroad, and 



400 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

a further commission naturally followed in the statue of William 
Allen, the gift of the state of Ohio to the rotunda of the Capitol, 
known as Statuary Hall. With these substantial successes, and the 
friends and alliances they brought, Mr. Niehaus did not seek fur- 
ther advantage, but returned to Italy for the opportunities it afforded 
to the artist in study and experimentation. He established a studio 
in Rome in the Villa Strohl-Fern adjoining the Villa Borghese, 
just outside the Porta del Popolo, and there modelled those things 
that every artist delights in doing just for the pure love of the work. 
His associations at this time could but lend aspect to the subjects 
he chose, and it was admiration of the ancients that moved his 
inspiration and set the body of his conceptions in the antique form. 
The most of these studies were destroyed, being in perishable 
material, but three of them have been preserved, and are in this 
country. They are ' The Scraper ; or, Greek Athlete using a 
Strigil,' ' Caestus,' and ' Silenus.' The former justified its survival 
by an Italian recognition at the time, by reason of which Mr. 
Niehaus was made a Fellow of L' Associazione della Artistica Inter- 
nazionale di Roma, and through later exhibitions by honors received 
at different times, among them that at the World's Columbian Ex- 
position, where it had the distinction of being recommended for a 
special medal. Mr. Niehaus has been a resident of New York City 
since 1885, and during that time has executed a number of the im- 
portant awards of sculpture in this country." l 

Mr. Niehaus has a pronounced leaning toward classic subjects, 
which he treats with a classic simplicity of line, enlivened, however, 
with many accents of modern realism. " The Greek Athlete using 
a Strigil," above mentioned, has been considered — until recently at 
least — his best study of the nude. It is well known to the artist 
world under the title of " The Scraper," and is undoubtedly one 
of the few good nude figures in American sculpture. Morally or 
emotionally considered, the figure is without appeal ; it is as though 
its author had scrupulously avoided even the suspicion of any motive 
other than good modelling and the artist's frank delight in a sym- 
metrically developed body. Ideality as such is subordinated to 
literal truth, but truth conveyed so simply, in so large and master- 

1 " Charles Niehaus, Sculptor," by Regina Armstrong, New York, 1902. 



NIEHAUS AND BOYLE 40 1 

ful a way, that for very unfamiliarity it becomes in turn a form of 
imaginative expression. This realistic-classic figure makes a unique 
note in American sculpture, and was the early guarantee of a 
remarkable talent unusually well equipped for its work. The 
" Casstus " of the same period is another faithful rendering of the 
male figure, quite as admirably constructed as " The Scraper." To 
a sculptor of Mr. Niehaus's temperament, the very way in which this 
figure is planted on its sturdy legs is reason enough for the doing. 
To one of another temperament these athletes might possibly appear 
to be but " conscientious nudes," hardly to be mentioned among the 
mature achievements of an artist. 

The marble "Garfield" of the Capitol is possibly as good a likeness 
as its twin brother, the bronze of Cincinnati, but it seems very tame 
in comparison, and is not one of the interesting statues in the motley 
collection of Statuary Hall. Its companion, however, another work 
of those initiatory years, is a very striking figure of William Allen 
of Ohio. This tall form, in its long, unbuttoned overcoat, is an acute 
characterization and still ranks among Niehaus's best portraits. 

Not less successful were the " Hooker " and " Davenport " for 
the State House of Connecticut. Although in a sense but archi- 
tectural decorations, these two statues have been treated with mani- 
fest respect. Distinctly conceived and faithfully wrought, they are 
models of intelligent sincerity. The " Davenport," in particular, is 
a vivid rendering of a man of vast earnestness and power. Placed, 
likewise, at a considerable height upon this curiously elaborate 
building are several tympanums of vigorous relief — good illus- 
trative works picturing incidents in the history of early Connecticut. 
Possibly their success brought the sculptor his important order for 
a pair of the Astor Memorial doors for Trinity Church, New York 
City. This commission, like Ghiberti's of old, was won through 
competition. In this work Mr. Niehaus has employed an unusual 
method — a high-low relief, if it may be so expressed. The figures 
are kept very flat and are modelled with much refinement as in low 
relief, yet those in the foreground are permitted to project quite as 
much as in high relief. They are sharply undercut, and from the 
side the panels have an odd, laminated look, but from a proper posi- 
tion the effect is very pleasing. 

2 D 



4-02 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



Mr. Niehaus's contribution to the Congressional Library was im- 
portant, consisting of two figures, — " Moses " and " Gibbon," — and 
three charming tympanums carved in wood. The " Moses " is from 
certain directions strangely impressive. The " Gibbon," however, be- 
trays no touch of Mr. Niehaus's genius. It is commonplace, a grace- 
ful figure without significance or personality, the careful workmanship 
of a clever, uninspired modeller. In the multitude of his commis- 




Fig. 63. — Niehaus: Hahnemann, Washington. 

sions and their attendant problems it is not strange that the artist 
has occasionally wearied of profound search for inspiration ; that 
he has contented himself with familiar motifs. As one turns the 
pages of the booklet which brings them together, it is interesting 
to note, for example, the similarity of pose between the " Morton " of 
the Capitol and its vis-a-vis, Mr. French's " General Cass." The un- 
conscious resemblance is a fortunate one, making the " Morton " one 
of the most striking figures there. Mr. Niehaus's " Farragut," at 



NIEHAUS AND BOYLE 403 

Muskegon, Michigan, might readily be mistaken at first glance for 
Saint Gaudens's famous work ; the " Lincoln," at the same place, 
seems oddly familiar, while the reliefs — " Memory " and " Grief " — 
on the Drake monument recall instantly their prototypes by the 
lamented Warner. Upon close comparison these resemblances dis- 
appear, only to come back teasingly when the attention is withdrawn 
from superficial detail to the general air of the work. It is better 
employment to turn to the faithful, almost fanatical accuracy of ex- 
terior in the busts of J. Q. A. Ward, Rabbi Gottheil, President Mc- 
Kinley, and others ; to the beauty of the calling woman in the group 
entitled " Story of Gold," — a figure of rare inspiration, — at the Pan- 
American Exposition ; and, above all, to the array of monumental 
designs in which Mr. Niehaus shows his distinctive talent. Here 
are no failures and no plagiarisms. Not only the Hahnemann and 
the Drake memorials, but competitive models for a " Sherman," a 
" Lee," and a " W r illiam the Silent," must be mentioned ; — all these, 
whether executed or not, are among the best monumental projects 
that American art has produced. In his equestrian statue of 
General Forrest, for Forrest Park, Memphis, Tennessee, Mr. Niehaus 
has shown us how adequate is his talent for this form of sculptural 
expression. The figures of rider and steed alike have been highly 
praised for their truth and vigor. A photograph of the model gives 
promise of one of the best equestrian statues in the country. 

This sculptor's group, " The Triumphant Return," a decoration 
for the ephemeral arch of the Dewey celebration, was a very effective 
work. While recognizing the success of the other participants — the 
vigorous realism of Mr. Bitter's " War" and the tenderness of Mr. 
French's "Peace" — one found the Niehaus group imbued with a 
calm dignity quite peculiarly its own. The serene aloofness of that 
uplifted image of Athena victorious, was strangely impressive. The 
artist's conception was a noble one, considered from either the pic- 
torial or the poetic side. The introduction of the archaic figure 
provided a new and striking note in the composition, a note of effec- 
tive value, marking by its severity of treatment a profound contrast 
with the realism of the group below, and also in a larger sense vastly 
increasing the range of suggestion. It symbolized a higher power 
as no addition of figures merely graceful could possibly do. Our 



404 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

faith has become so sadly shorn of symbols that we are obliged to 
have recourse to a pagan religion for visible forms of expression, but 
here the symbol served its purpose and became universally intelli- 
gible. There was nothing absurd or incongruous in the presence 
of that rigid Athena as the eidolon, present if unobserved, giving 
significance to the rejoicings of those who return from war. 

Mr. Niehaus's latest undertakings are the " General Forrest," 
already referred to, and the large nude figure, " The Driller," shown 
at the exhibition of the National Sculpture Society in November, 
1902. This statue is the important feature of a monument at Titus- 
ville, Pennsylvania, to the memory of Colonel Edwin L. Drake, who 
sank the first oil well in Pennsylvania, in 1859. "The Driller," 
which is intended to symbolize the energy of labor, shows a nude 
figure of powerful build in a kneeling position, with uplifted hammer, 
in the act of driving the drill into the rock. The face is sternly in 
earnest, though somewhat impersonal ; the action vigorous and con- 
vincing. The workmanship is so admirably broad, yet precise, that 
each new point of view increases our respect for the patience and 
conscience, or shall we rather say the enthusiasm, of the man who 
has wrought so well. Such work does us good. Of it Mr. Russell 
Sturgis has recently written : " It is, as an adaptation of the heroic 
in size and in character to strictly modern requirements of design, a 
piece of immense value." ' 

Although very different from Mr. Niehaus in many ways, John 
J. Boyle is a sculptor of no less pronounced individuality. Bluff, 
hearty, and genuine, he transmits these qualities unfailingly to his 
work. It is done with a zest which testifies to the sturdy character of 
the man and the irresistible momentum of his impulses. No languid 
interest his; no "primrose path of dalliance"! He feels things 
strongly; his likes and dislikes have in them something elemental. 
Each work seems to him vastly important and full of opportunity. 

His most valuable contribution to our national art is undoubtedly 
in his favorite field of aboriginal subjects. He has done many things, 
and some of them remarkably well, but one feels that in these primi- 
tive themes he is at his best. Some of the younger men may excel 
him in " finesse," in subtlety of modelling and charm of line ; but for 

1 The World To-day, Vol. IV. p. 262. 




FIG. 64. — BOYLE: THE STONE AGE, FAIRMOUNT PARK, PHILADELPHIA. 



NIEHAUS AND BOYLE 407 

the expression of power, for monumental simplicity and integrity of 
conception, his groups, " The Alarm," in Lincoln Park, Chicago, and 
" The Stone Age " (Fig. 64), in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, have 
not been surpassed. In their very deficiencies they err on the right 
side, and one may even question if a certain harshness, a crudity of 
handling here and there noticeable, does not positively contribute to 
the impression of force. At any rate, it removes them far from the 
class of exquisitely finished and exquisitely foolish Indians of the 
jewelry stores, with which not a few public works have a close 
relationship. 

The first group, " The Alarm," was modelled in Philadelphia, and 
was intended to commemorate the Ottawa tribe of Indians, with 
whom the pioneer donor — Mr. Martin Ryerson — had held for years 
most friendly relations. The title is rather a misnomer, for the 
" alarm " is expressed merely by a look of concentrated attention in 
the face of the great male figure, who stands otherwise at ease, with 
his robe drawn loosely about him and his long pipe in hand. His 
squaw rests quietly at his feet, her round face a triumph of placid 
vacuity. The papoose in its little cradle seems likewise in perfect 
accord with the environment, sharing its mother's grateful torpidity 
of mind, quite untroubled by dreams of lurking foe. The shaggy 
dog is on the alert, however, and makes an uncompromising feature 
in the group. 

Even this dignified work has its amusing side. In order that the 
much-admired bronze should be given its full value, a massive pedes- 
tal was planned, a square of polished granite with classic mould- 
ings ; and, as if to emphasize the incongruity and fix it without 
possibility of evasion, large Greek triglyphs were deeply incised upon 
its surface. Perched high upon this imposing structure, the figures 
are conspicuous, but have lost the charm of illusion. Nature and art 
alike have given way to artificiality- Imagine this admirable group 
upon a rough-hewn boulder of irregular form, half concealed amid 
shrubbery, where one might come upon the dusky household as 
unexpectedly as in those already legendary days when similar 
statuesque figures made our forests even more darkly silent by their 
mysterious presence. How delightful such a surprise might be 
made in one of our formal, showy parks! How much more the 



4 o8 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



e> 



group would mean to us, and how much it would gain in artistic 
value ! Then, too, the pedestal might be made curious with signifi- 
cant aboriginal carvings, adding their suggestiveness to the scene, 
or at least providing a tinge of local color. But we are the " heirs 
of the ages," and we insist upon jumbling and flaunting our posses- 
sions. 

In the installation of the second group, in Fairmount Park, 
Mr. Boyle evidently had his own way and made no attempt to 
quote Greek; the result, if not notably artistic, is at least incon- 
spicuous. As to the group itself, however, the artist used to com- 
plain bitterly that he had not been left free. He had sketched a fine 
thing, an Indian woman of mighty physique defending her children 
from a powerful eagle, — a western Rizpah, as it were. The children 
were living ones, however, and clung to their mother's skirts, as far 
as possible from the vanquished bird, which lay upon its back claw- 
ing the air and apparently shrieking defiance in impotent rage. 
The great outspread wings offered beautiful lines, and their shadowy 
concaves set off the figures most effectively. The sculptor was 
pleased with his work, and when he had the full-sized model well 
advanced he called in a photographer, that the committee at home 
might note his progress. 

The answer came, and all too soon, for it urged with sufficient 
emphasis that it would never do to treat the national bird so igno- 
miniously, and would the sculptor not kindly substitute some other 
creature ? He did so. It is perhaps as well that there is no record 
of his half-murmured observations as he cut off those magnificent 
wings and painfully converted the Bird of Freedom into a bear cub ! 
It lies there to this day — very dead. The squaw still clasps her 
baby to her breast and clutches her stone hatchet, looking out from 
under dishevelled locks, scanning the horizon for signs of a more 
formidable foe, the while the naked papoose on the ground — care- 
fully studied from a bright-eyed Italian child — sits quietly and looks 
about with interest. Despite his restrictions, Mr. Boyle made of this 
group a valuable contribution to our native art, a work of sculptural 
beauty and of great significance. One quite agrees with the report 
of the Fairmount Association in its claim that " The group is among 
the most masterly works which have been added to the decorations 



NIEHAUS AND BOYLE 



409 



of the Park, and Mr. Boyle is undoubtedly the first sculptor who has 
adequately presented the Indian's case in American art." 

The sculptor has done much work since the unveiling of "The 
Stone Age," in 188S, and good work, too, but unfortunately little of it 
has been in this field, where he stands preeminent. We had another 
glimpse of his possibilities at the Pan-American Exposition at Buf- 
falo, where his two massive groups, " The Savage Age," were among 
the very best of the sculptural decorations. It is safe to say that no 
other American sculptor could have treated the subject better. The 
groups showed, even after the devastating process of mechanical en- 
largement, more than a remnant of sturdy strength and of primitive 
simplicity. Though the tendency of the pointing machine and its 
human allies was to efface the touches that express individuality and 
to reduce the productions of a score of men to the same dead level, 
they did not succeed in eliminating the personal quality in Mr. 
Boyle's work. As for the conception, it was unmistakably his ; the 
very twist of the figures, their massive construction, even their un- 
expected combinations, — all bore the seal of the mind which 
had evolved " The Alarm " and " The Stone Age." The swing 
and movement of the later groups showed a practised hand 
and a matured imagination. Above all, in the great amount of 
" color " infused into a very simple coherent mass, did they prove 
the essential sculpturesque attitude of the artist's mind. The result 
is a combination of vigor and restraint which is good to see and 
good to feel. Indeed, these groups were too valuable to lose. They 
well merited more careful execution and reproduction in bronze or 
stone. 

Among Mr. Boyle's other achievements may be mentioned the 
decorations of the Transportation building of the Columbian Expo- 
sition; a charming little bronze, "Tired Out," which won a medal 
there; a very attenuated "Bacon" in the Congressional Library; and 
particularly the heroic "Franklin" presented to Philadelphia by a 
prominent citizen in 1900. Into this well-constructed figure Mr. 
Boyle has succeeded in putting no small amount of individuality. 
His statue seems very much alive, and very convincing as well. 
One does not believe in those " Franklins " of the city of Washing- 
ton, nor in any other excepting the Houdon bust; but this creation 



410 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

seems adequate, giving us the quiet, thoughtful, humorous, and, 
above all, sane man of perfect balance. The face is benign, show- 
ing the kindly smile of one who has mental " collateral " and can 
smile without looking foolish. If the figure is not altogether dis- 
tinguished in treatment, it may be because the sculptor has chosen 
to allow bonhomie to predominate over dignity, and ease in a meas- 
ure to supplant elegance. This is not saying, however, that Mr. 
Boyle's " Franklin " is either undignified or inelegant ; we would 
merely point out that these attributes are subordinated to the very 
grateful expression of an amiable personality. The Philadelphia 
" Franklin " may not be imposing, but it is winning. 

Mr. Boyle was born in New York City in 185 1, but his youth 
was spent in Philadelphia. His education was derived from the 
public schools of that city and from the Pennsylvania Academy of 
Fine Arts, where his artistic promise was sufficient to justify the 
journey to Paris and several years' study in the Ecole des Beaux- 
Arts. Here his talent and faithful effort won him substantial recog- 
nition, as did in turn his first important exhibit in the Salon. He 
practised his art for a number of years in Philadelphia, removing 
in 1902 to New York. 



CHAPTER XXII 

OTHER NEW YORK SCULPTORS 

Although New York has produced comparatively few sculptors, 
the city has attracted a great many gifted men from every part of 
the country. Even to catalogue them all here is impossible ; but 
in this chapter a few of the more important names remaining may 
be considered — men of American birth who have been established 
for some time in the metropolis. 

One of the best known of this number is Frank Edwin Ehvell, 
who was born at Concord, Massachusetts, in 1858. Left an orphan 
at the age of four, he grew up with his grandfather Farrar, who was 
descended from the earliest settlers of the township. Mr. Elwell 
received his first artistic impulse from Miss May Alcott in the little 
drawing class at Concord, in 1876, and continued his studies in the 
Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He went abroad in 1881, studying 
first in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and later privately with 
M. Falguiere. He returned to this country in 1S85, establishing 
himself at once in New York. 

Mr. Elwell's principal works and their locations are included in 
the following list : " Death of Strength," in the cathedral garden at 
Edam, Holland ; bust of Mr. Peter Esselmont, Lord Provost of Aber- 
deen, Aberdeen, Scotland; "Diana and the Lion," Art Institute of 
Chicago, 1893; "Egypt Awaking" bought at the Paris Salon of 
1896 by M. Gabriel Goupillat of Paris; "Dickens and Little Nell," 
bought by the Fairmount Park Art Association of Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania ; memorial to Edwin Booth, Mount Auburn, Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts; equestrian statue of General Winfield Scott 
Hancock, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 1896 ; " New 
Life," Lowell cemetery, Lowell, Massachusetts, property of Hon. 
Charles Sumner Lilley, called the " Bonney Memorial," 1899 (plas- 

411 



4 I2 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

ter in Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts) ; " Orchid," owned by 
Mr. Theodore B. Starr, New York City, 1899; "Aqua Viva," prop- 
erty of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Gity; Andrew 
McMillan Memorial, Utica, New York; " Kronos," Pan-American 
fountain, 1901 ; " Intelligence," in front of New York state building, 
Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, New York, 1901 ; " Elihu Yale," 
Yale Club, New York City, 1901; and busts of Vice-Presidents 
Morton and Hobart, Senate Chamber, Washington. 

As the list testifies, Mr. Elwell has done much work in the years 
which have slipped away since his return — much work and much 
thinking. It may be safely affirmed that he has put an idea into 
each thing that he has created. This is a more unusual claim than 
at first appears, for few realize how small a number of concepts are 
made to do service in all the annual output of statuary. One new 
thought a year, per man, is a high average, while many a thrifty 
artist is able to run his entire course on a single idea and its varia- 
tions. Further, when we come to examine these products of Mr. 
Elwell's fertile fancy, we shall find that a very large proportion of 
them are legitimately sculptural ideas. As has been elsewhere 
remarked, there are not a few respectable sculptors who never have 
had a sculptural idea. Mr. Elwell's execution varies much with his 
moods, and his drawing is not impeccable, but he always has some- 
thing to say, and says it in a manner so original, so different from 
the expression of others, that he is almost invariably interesting; 
which is one way of stating that his utterance is intensely personal. 
This is true, though not always obvious. While his work is so much 
his own that there is never hint of imitation, it is on the other hand 
bewilderingly diverse. His approach to his various subjects is as 
novel as are the ideas themselves, and as impossible of classification. 
We set him down as a devotee of Egyptian art, of the massive, the 
rigid, the petrified ; and in the next exhibit we find from him a 
flowerlike creation, with fluttering robes, poising lightly on one 
foot. We turn from the strange chimera, " Kronos," to Charles 
Dickens, chatting in unaffected familiarity with Little Nell, then 
back to the essentially monumental figure of the " New Life," 
which certainly shows slight family resemblance to the realis- 
tic " Water Carrier " of the Metropolitan Museum. Have we 




FIG. 65.— ELWELL: EGYPT AWAKING, PARIS. 



OTHER NEW YORK SCULPTORS 415 

another sculptor who has so many phases, who speaks so many 
languages ? 

Mr. Elwell's "Egypt Awaking" (Fig. 65) is fine in thought and 
developed with skill. A seated female figure, of Egyptian simplicity 
and stiffness in its lower members, is shown coming to life. The 
bosom swells, and the arms are lifted in the wide exultant sweep 
of one who stretches the limbs after much slumber. The head is 
raised, and in its unfamiliar features is a strange commingling of 
wonder and of confidence. It is an intelligence that is keen and 
trained, suddenly confronted with new and extraordinary conditions. 
Such is the internal value of the work; its sculptural expression is 
not less interesting. In the contrast between the vague yet adequate 
generalization of the lower limbs of a Nefert, for instance, and the 
carefully modelled torso and arms pulsating with life, there dwells 
an effect as striking as ever Rodin has attained through contrasting 
technics. The rigidity of the legs, bound to their support, is the 
simplest expression of glyptic art; the bilateral symmetry of the 
pose contributes its sculptural impression, and the large significant 
gesture, particularly in such contrast, is strangely monumental. 
Mr. Elwell has made of " Egypt " a new Galatea or an imprisoned 
Daphne upon whom the gods have taken pity. It is not to be won- 
dered at that so original a work should have found prompt apprecia- 
tion and purchase in Paris. There, as in Athens of old, many go 
about seeking to learn of some new thing. In that great centre of 
artistic effort, if anywhere, a poetic sculptural idea is recognized and 
valued. 

In his " Dickens and Little Nell " the sculptor has given us that 
rare thing, — a portrait statue which makes an emotional appeal. 
To be sure, its dramatic power is due to a secondary figure, as is the 
case in Mr. French's " Gallaudet," but the use of such a figure is 
legitimate when it detracts nothing from the effect of the principal, 
but rather enhances it, and when it is in itself as charming in con- 
ception as is Mr. Elwell's " Little Nell." Strictly speaking, the 
Dickens group — if such it may be called — is a tableau and not a 
monument. The novelist is shown in a too accidental and familiar 
guise to satisfy the requirements of great sculpture. Not that we 
would ask him to pose with assumed majesty, consciously "sitting 



416 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



for a picture." The object of a monument is neither to exaggerate nor 
to minimize the importance of a subject, but to give the truth in as 
large and simple a way as possible. The highest ideal of a statue 
of Charles Dickens is not one which suggests his veritable every-day 
presence, graciously accommodating himself for a moment to this 
public seat, as at an author's reading, and exchanging amiable 

glances with the pass- 
ers-by, but one which 
shows the essential 
man withdrawn a pace 
and protected by an 
invisible barrier of 
dignity and distinc- 
tion. Theoretically, 
then, and judging the 
work from the ideal 
standard of a severely 
monumental art, the 
sweet child figure 
which so intimately 
connects the effigy 
with ourselves is a 
solecism. Practically, 
we would not have 
it otherwise than it 
is. Its absence would 
not make the easy- 
going " Dickens " any more impressive, and would be a distinct 
loss to the art beloved of the people. 

Mr. Elwell's " General Hancock," on the battlefield of Gettys- 
burg, is a striking memorial, but hardly justifies Professor Goodyear's 
characterization of it as " one of the most important equestrian monu- 
ments in modern history." 1 The sculptor's mortuary relief, "The 
New Life " (Fig. 66), will be recognized as another very origi- 
nal work, fearlessly conceived and evolved with much sincerity. 
The gesture of the arms is a favorite one with the sculptor, and has 

1 " Renaissance and Modern Art," p. 264. 




Fig. 66. — Elwell: The New Life, Lowell, Mass. 



OTHER NEW YORK SCULPTORS 417 

in it a keynote of largeness. In this somewhat mystical conception 
it possesses peculiar significance. The face is of a fine type, though 
in view of the theme one could imagine it more radiant, but Mr. 
Elwell probably realized how easily this might be overdone, and 
wisely kept himself in restraint. Perhaps the same explanation 
may be made for the rather summary treatment of the drapery ; the 
arms, however, and shoulders are well elaborated in a broad sculp- 
tural way. The total effect of this work, in place, is dignified and 
impressive. 

To view another of the products of Mr. Elwell's untrammelled 
fancy one should return in thought to the beautiful esplanade of 
the Pan-American Exposition. In the large sunken basin at its 
western extremity stood two strangely imposing figures surrounded, 
the one by curious web-footed sea horses, the other by still more 
remarkable amphibious elk. The figures themselves, " Ceres " and 
" Kronos," were the most novel decorations on the grounds. Further- 
more, they were true decorations and not merely transcripts of 
actuality, like so much exposition work. Amid groups of plaster 
men who hammered and ploughed and ran machinery, these images 
rose more impressive because frankly sculpture. Their neighbors 
were too often like untrained supernumeraries, hastily huddled into a 
tableau ; these rough-hewn colossi seemed of all time, rooted there 
like the rocks. In pose they were archaic, without superficial grace. 
Their arms were wide extended and lifted a little above the horizontal. 
The rear view of " Kronos," in particular, was most extraordinary, 
resembling some gigantic insect with outstretched elytra, and the 
thinner wings just unfolding. Both figures were sculptural, how- 
ever, from every point of view, and the " Kronos," at least, was 
weirdly effective, with his veiled face thrown far back, his enormous 
physique, and the great Egyptian wings symbolic of the swiftness of 
time. The massive legs rose, however, from the back of a turtle, 
significant of a Time that does not always " amble withal." The 
outstretched hands, scarcely disengaged from the wings, supported 
globes. The whole conception was symbolic, yet so skilfully and 
so powerfully conveyed that it seemed reasonable in itself. One was 
conscious of a strong artistic personality behind these prodigious 
apparitions — a power which made of them something foreign to 



41 8 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

their surroundings. They seemed to speak a language all their own 
as they stood, aloof and alien, facing each other across the sheet 
of water where, though disconnected, they were bound together by 
mysterious ties. One could easily imagine their sombre spirits 
communicating with each other in some ancient code of wireless 
telegraphy over the heads of their restless and commonplace asso- 
ciates. 

It is this imaginative freedom and above all this flavor of the 
artist's personality, — so happily illustrated in his own work, — which 
Mr. Elwell considers the most precious qualities in art. He believes, 
heart and soul, that the greatest thing in the world is for a man to 
know that he is his own, and that the great end in art is the discovery 
of the self of the artist. For such freedom he makes battle in season 
and out of season ; sometimes, as it seems, with unnecessary strenu- 
ousness, since after all, as he himself acknowledges, " It is nothing 
but good art that counts in the end." The artist with something: to 
say will say it, while the man with no song cannot possibly be made 
to sing, however great his freedom and however pressing the solicita- 
tion. Literally and metaphorically, Mr. Elwell always has something 
to say, and knows how to say it well. In his present position of 
Curator of Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum he has done 
valuable service for the cause in several ways: in the admirable 
arrangement of the new galleries, in the dignity with which he has 
invested the earlier American works of intrinsic worth, in the com- 
pilation of an enormous amount of data regarding our sculptors, 
and in the many kindly acts which his position has enabled him to 
show to brother-artists. But for all this one grudges every hour 
that Mr. Elwell spends in the routine of this work. A man of his 
originality should not cease to produce. 

Among the more recent accessions to the artistic ranks of New 
York is Mr. William Couper, who was for twenty years a resident of 
Florence. Although Mr. Couper is well known in Europe, and has 
a growing reputation in the East, he may require introduction in 
other parts of the United States. Born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1853, 
his professional education was gained largely at Cooper Institute, New 
York. In 1874 he went to Munich, where he entered both the 
Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal College of Surgery. At the 




FIG. 67. — COUPER: BEAUTY'S WREATH FOR VALOR'S BROW. 



OTHER NEW YORK SCULPTORS 421 

end of 1S75 he was obliged to leave for Italy on account of ill health. 
While in Florence, Mr. Thomas Ball invited him to study under him, 
giving him place in his own studio. This offer was gladly accepted, 
and thenceforth the young sculptor's time was devoted principally to 
portraiture and works of an ideal nature. Among the latter may be 
mentioned " Mother's Love," a group in marble ; " Psyche," a life- 
size figure in marble ; two large sphinxes for Governor Stanford ; 
a life-size figure in marble entitled, " Coming Spring " ; a portrait 
statue for Governor Routt (Denver, Colorado); " Falconer," a run- 
ning figure ; and a life-size marble statue called " Beauty's Wreath 
for Valor's Brow." 

Returning to the United States in 1S97, Mr. Couper established 
himself in New York, and the list of his works has since been ex- 
tended as follows : an allegorical relief, " Repose," bronze ; heroic 
marble statue, "Moses," Appellate Court building, New York City; 
" Recording Angel," heroic, bronze, placed in cemetery at Norfolk, 
Virginia ; heroic angel for a tower in Methuen, Massachusetts (for 
Mr. E. F. Searles) ; two figures on a sarcophagus for McKim, Mead, 
and White ; heroic portrait of Professor Thomas Eggleston, bronze, 
for Columbia College ; " Angel of the Resurrection," life-size, marble, 
Chicago ; tablet to the Rev. James Mulcahey, St. Paul's Church, 
Broadway, New York City; drinking fountain for Mr. Howard 
Willets, White Plains, New York ; relief on east side of Dewey 
Arch, " Protection of our Country." A reduction of this relief has 
since been made and cast in bronze for Colonel William Lamb, 
Norfolk, Virginia. Also a heroic portrait bust of President William 
McKinley; a bronze group, "Headed for Goal"; " Te Deum Lau- 
damus"; portrait of Dr. William S. Hubble; portrait of Henry 
Maurer; "Rural Industry." 

Mr. Couper's art is essentially Italian in manner, or at least so 
tinged with the Florentine accent that it has a rather unfamiliar look 
in our exhibitions, where, for many years, almost everything sculp- 
tural has reflected in greater or less degree the Parisian school. 
Those who have seen the results of Italian influence upon our earlier 
sculptors might infer that Mr. Couper was a belated Powers or 
Crawford ; but they will discover that fashions have changed in Flor- 
ence and Rome quite as much as in America. The modern Italian 



422 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

is as far from Canova as is Saint Gaudens or Ward — but on the 
opposite side. The poverty and reserve of the pseudo-classic school 
have given way to a riot of cleverness and a wealth of detail. In 
the more familiar examples marvellously carved accessories take the 
place of sculptural line, of expression, of emotion, of everything 
which a trained taste requires in a worthy work of art. This is not 
— could not be — the case in the work of a man of Mr. Couper's 
innate refinement ; but, as with even the greatest of living Italian 
sculptors, his art is necessarily colored by the predominant influ- 
ences of his surroundings. Its one defect is a somewhat irritating 
insistence upon details, and conversely a neglect of powerful lines 
and planes. If this slight criticism seems somewhat ungraciously 
obtruded at this point, it is that we may be done with it. It applies 
to all of Mr. Couper's work, just as the sign of sharp or flat at the 
beginning of a piece of music extends its sway to the end, and just 
as the " personal equation " enters into every act of our lives ; but, 
despite differences of method, no sculptor of catholic tastes can fail 
to recognize the beauty of Mr. Couper's art. 

For he is a poet and a man of intelligence as well. The 
emotional and the reflective sides are both developed within him 
and sustain each other. He never begins a work without a definite 
and worthy idea, while his cunning craftsmanship proves his en- 
thusiasm and his power of concentration. He is not only a good 
sculptor, but an exceedingly skilful one. He delights, as every true 
artist must, in the processes of his work, and, as hinted, sometimes 
idolizes it into a decline. One feels a suspicion of this in the 
essentially noble figure of " Moses," on the Appellate Court build- 
ing. It is a magnificent conception, and justly admired ; its only 
weakness is over-elaboration. Here the "loving touch" has lost its 
potency, because it is seen everywhere. It would seem that for 
that elevation a severe architectural treatment would be more 
effective ; planes rather than veins in the arms, a more conven- 
tional and massive drapery, a little less breaking up of the sur- 
face — but that is all that can be said against the figure. These 
things are superficial ; within the statue is that rare thing in 
art — a soul. None but a man of Mr. Couper's imagination and 
grasp could put into a head so much dignity, so obvious a fitness 



OTHER NEW YORK SCULPTORS 



423 



to lead. His " Moses " has the intellectual strength and hre of 
the old-time prophets. It is not "the meekest man," but rather 
that other Moses who, in his righteous indignation, broke the tab- 
lets of stone. 

Mr. Couper has made particular and sympathetic study of winged 
figures. For those whose tastes have outgrown the conventional 
and rudimentary images of our graveyards, the " curly chirping 
angels spruce as birds," Mr. Couper's heavenly host make fascinat- 
ing appeal. There are few if any American sculptors who know 
how to model angels so gen- 
erally acceptable as are his. 
They are not merely pretty, 
but they are beautiful, radiant 
creations, gracefully conceived, 
carefully drawn, and exquisitely 
carved. If they are sometimes 
tangled in billows of realistic 
drapery, they are all the more 
winning on this account. Thus 
the angel of Methuen, Massa- 
chusetts, might possibly be 
criticised for its too great abun- 
dance of this world's goods, 
but as to the figure itself there 
can be no reproach ; it is im- 
bued with rare tenderness and 
delicacy. The severe treat- 
ment of the great wings does 
much to counter-balance the floridity of the robe, which, it must be 
acknowledged, is to many minds one of the great attractions of the 
work. As a study in drapery it is certainly remarkable and worthy 
of all praise, alike for its grace of line and its sculptural color. The 
relief is high but without background, the bronze figure being at- 
tached directly to the wall of a stone tower. If it has not the com- 
manding majesty of Mr. French's Angel of Death, in the Milmore 
Memorial, it has a sweet beauty of its own, in which all its elements 
are gracefully harmonized. 




Fig. 



. — Couper : Te Deum Laudamus. 



424 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Although Mr. Couper's fame will probably rest on these foun- 
dations, he has treated many other themes. One of his most 
important works is the seated figure entitled " Beauty's Wreath 
for Valor's Brow " (Fig. 67), a tender and poetic creation. The 
movement of the body, the turn of the lovely arms, the bowed head, 
are all sculpturally beautiful, and win the applause of those to whom 
the minute elaboration of the drapery and accessories makes less 
appeal. A graceful idea is conveyed in the low relief " Te Deum 
Laudamus " (Fig. 68), a bust portrait in profile of the sculptor's son. 
Very angelic he looks with bowed head and the suggestion of a bass 
viol, the strings of which his fingers press. The modelling of the 
youthful face is sensitively pure ; the hair is a lesson in plastic hand- 
ling, and the slight drapery over the shoulder is what sculptured 
drapery ought to be. There is hardly a touch in this relief which 
one could desire altered. 

Mr. Couper has had the good fortune to win a competition over 
twenty-two other sculptors for the important memorial to be erected 
at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in honor of Colonel Hawkins. The 
sculptural portion of this monument is to be a statue in bronze, eight 
feet high, portraying the soldier in field uniform, including overcoat 
and cape. His hat is pulled well down over his brow, and his cloak 
thrown back from his arms. He stands in an easy attitude with one 
foot advanced and his hands resting upon his sword, which is held 
in front of him, the point resting on the ground. A reproduction of 
the sketch model shows a chaste architectural design of the exedra 
type with ingenious modifications, and a figure which even in tiny 
size gives promise of large monumental qualities, of simplicity and 
repose and distinction. 

A unique place among American sculptors is that held to-day by 
Mr. Frederick Wellington Ruckstuhl. A man of intense nature and 
great activity, he has made his mark in two distinct departments, 
not only producing much work as a sculptor, but doing perhaps 
even more notable service as the organizer and in some sense the 
leading spirit of the National Sculpture Society, of which he was 
for several years the secretary. To this association he has con- 
secrated his best energies with a devotion and an executive ability 
■which alone have safeguarded its existence and made it the power 



OTHER NEW YORK SCULPTORS 425 

that it is. It is more than likely that the combined efforts of the 
fraternity — efforts which have already organized five important 
exhibitions and which culminated in 1899 in the so-called "Dewey 
Arch " — would have been impossible without the self-sacrificing 
labor of this public-spirited man. There may be room for indi- 
vidual opinion in regard to the policy of the National Sculpture 
Society and in regard to its methods, but the fact remains indis- 
putable that it is a significant expression of conditions to-day, 
that it fairly represents the men who constitute its membership, 
and that it has done much to keep the claims of the profession 
before a rather apathetic public. It was Mr. Ruckstuhl who was 
able to solidify the vaporous and often futile sentiment of his 
brother sculptors, to bring them together and to teach them to 
voice their needs and their qualifications in other language than 
the inarticulate terms of their art. 

The sculptural decoration of the Appellate Court building in 
New York City, though the work of many hands, is a monument to 
Mr. Ruckstuhl's disinterested efforts. Like the beginnings of 
things everywhere, it has its crudities and is overdone, while lack- 
ing the harmony of perfectly concerted effort ; but it was worth the 
doing, not alone for visible results, but for the mere practice, and 
for its perpetual suggestion to the public. A great art, like that of 
France, for instance, does not come in a day, but is the slow prod- 
uct of years of experiment and of failures as well as of successes. 
The skill of to-day is the sum-total of all the influences which have 
gone before, to which each generation has added its modicum of 
energy. Parallel with this slow accretion of physical aptitude, and 
mysteriously mingled with it, has been the mental development of 
artists and public alike ; the growth of that general aesthetic sen- 
timent which is so noticeable in France and which has been so 
conspicuously absent in the United States : the ability to look at a 
work of art, to form a reasonable judgment as to its value; in short, 
to enjoy it intelligently. In the service of so desirable an evolution 
of taste a concrete object lesson like that presented by the much- 
decorated Appellate Court building is of infinite value. The very 
weaknesses of the scheme are possibly of greater utility to us to-day 
than would be a perfection that could not be criticised. Appreciation 



426 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

is not intuitive, and discussion is often the first step toward it — at 
least it prepares the foundation of mental standards. To this 
aroused attitude of mind, which promises so much at the present 
hour, Mr. Ruckstuhl's personal effort has contributed more than is 
generally known. 

Without question Mr. Ruckstuhl's most beautiful work is his 
marble figure of " Evening " (Fig. 69) which he modelled in Paris, 
and which won him an honorable mention at the Salon of 1S8S 
and a medal at the Columbian Exposition. It is a poetic con- 
ception, very simply expressed in a pose of unusual grace, and 
reveals a close stud)' of nature. It well deserves its prominent 
place in the Metropolitan Museum, where it marks an interesting 
contrast with early American sculpture of a less fluent character. 
The dreamy face is not of to-day, however; nor indeed is the 
treatment of the body altogether akin to that which appears in its 
contemporaries and neighbors, the " Bacchante " of MacMonnies and 
Stewardson's " Bather." Mr. Ruckstuhl has a lingering sympathy for 
modern classicism ; at least he subordinates personal peculiarities 
more than do most of his colleagues. Unlike the " Bacchante," for 
instance, his " Evening " does not reproduce undeviatingly the model 
who posed for it, nor does it suggest a nude model at all. The 
figure is essentially, and by intention, a statue ; it has been modified 
and, in a sense, conventionalized to that end ; herein is its particular 
beauty and power. 

Mr. Ruckstuhl varies his methods, however, with the problem 
before him. In his bust of John Russell Young he has carried 
observation and precision of rendering to a remarkable point while 
preserving a treatment which is large, suave, and decidedly fleshy. 
Other well-known works of his are the novel " Mercury teasing the 
Eagle of Jupiter," in St. Louis; "Solon," in the Congressional 
Library, and the two seated figures of marble, " Wisdom " and 
" Force," which guard the entrance of the Appellate Court in New 
York City. Exceptionally spirited in a legitimate way is his eques- 
trian statue of General John F. Hartranft, at Harrisburg, Pennsyl- 
vania. This group Mr. Ruckstuhl modelled at St. Leu, near Paris, 
after much preparation in the way of visits to many European capi- 
tals. He has pictured his subject riding quietly, cap in hand, and 




FIG. 69. — RUCKSTUHL: EVENING, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM. 



OTHER NEW YORK SCULPTORS 429 

the right arm well back, as though acknowledging the salutations 
of those who welcome the brave soldier home. The figure shows 
dignity and self-containment ; the horse is of the Colleoni type, in 
modern guise. It is not an imitation, but was evidently inspired 
by the Venetian masterpiece, sharing its irresistible momentum and 
gratifying the eye with clear-cut lines and a very modern vivacity of 
treatment of head and mane. 

Another successful work is the " Victory," which Mr. Ruckstuhl 
made for the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument at Jamaica, Long 
Island, a winged figure which offers a palm and a laurel wreath 
with an imposing gesture. The carefully studied drapery and the 
effective simplification of the powerful wings are especially note- 
worthv. A natural development of this idea is shown in the sculp- 
tor's latest and most popular work, " The Spirit of the Confederacy," 
a strongly modelled group of two figures, in which the " Victory " be- 
comes a personification of the Lost Cause, and gathers in her arm 
a falling soldier of the Confederate army. The thought is that of 
Mercie's " Gloria Victis," but the arrangement of the group suggests 
rather the " Ouand Meme " of the same gifted sculptor. The treat- 
ment is, however, Mr. Ruckstuhl's own, and despite his somewhat 
whimsical protests against "individuality" in art, - the sculptor's 
methods of thought and execution are so definitely pronounced 
that his personal style is written in every fold of the drapery, in 
the admirably decorative wings, and not less in certain manner- 
isms of treatment of the face and hair. The conception, so far 
removed from the uninspired realism of most of our military 
memorials, has a poetic strain, and is sculpturally significant as 
well ; the execution is that of an experienced and conscientious 
master of the monumental art. The total effect when the 
group is reared at its proper height cannot be other than im- 
pressive. 

A sculptor who has rendered valuable service to the cause of 
art by means of his lectures and his writings, as well as through his 
more concrete expression in marble and bronze, is William Ordway 
Partridge. He is the author of various works on art — " Art for 
America," "The Song-Life of a Sculptor," "The Technique of 
Sculpture," " The Angel of Clay " — besides numerous magazine 



43° 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



articles, and he has given courses of lectures on sculpture at Colum- 
bia University and the Brooklyn Institute. 

Mr. Partridge's professional work shows a responsive imagination 
and versatility of method. His general culture has broadened the 
range of his interests, and one is not surprised to find him at his 
best in picturing the great poets. His rendering of their physiog- 
nomies is sympathetic, and most of his busts show a charming 

variety of technic, from the 
nervously emphasized features 
to the sketchy accessories and 
the simply massed shoulders 
and base. In such works Mr. 
Partridge is as interesting as 
his good taste is unfailing. 
The expressions of his " Shel- 
ley," "Tennyson" (Fig. 70), 
" Burns," " Whittier," etc., are 
those of inherent refinement, 
not untouched with the deeper 
glow of creative fire. His 
"Shakespeare," in Lincoln 
Park, Chicago, a seated fig- 
ure, is admirably conceived ; a 
graceful work of pronounced 
sculptural quality, massed in 
a large simple way and pleas- 
ingly and adequately modelled. 
His " Hamilton," in Brooklyn, 
has won astonishing eulogies. Professor Goodyear, says of it : " As 
the ideal of an orator, it appears to me the most successful work in 
modern art." ' The figure is well drawn and has much life and in- 
tensity, being especially pleasing when viewed from the side ; from 
the front the peculiar spread of the arms gives an unfortunate sug- 
gestion of a man balancing himself upon a precarious support. 

In later works Mr. Partridge seems to have allowed his love for 
" sketchiness " to run away with his discretion. His recent " Nathan 

1 " Renaissance and Modern Art,"' p. 264. 




Fig. 70. — Partridge: Tennyson. 



OTHER NEW YORK SCULPTORS 431 

Hale," for instance, is well conceived, the face showing refinement 
and not a little exaltation ; but the sculptor, in his desire to oppose to 
this focal point the contrast of a masterly generalization, has deprived 
the figure to a certain degree of that treatment which is somewhat 
arbitrarily termed " modelling." Portions are left barely outlined. 
With increasing distance from the head, on which we are supposed 
to concentrate attention, the treatment becomes more and more 
summary, so much so, indeed, as to waive anatomical truth. Thus 
the legs of the " Nathan Hale " are merely suggested by straight 
lines, which contrast strikingly with the well-rounded limbs of the 
" Hamilton." 

Mr. Partridge's equestrian " Grant " in Brooklyn is a happy 
embodiment of the silent hero, and as a sketch would be considered 
of great interest and promise. But these are the days of specialists, 
and the horses of Potter and Proctor, not to mention the achieve- 
ments of Fremiet and of the sublimely patient Paul Dubois, have 
taught us to demand a perfection of both organic structure and of 
surface handling unknown to the art of fifty years ago. In the 
face of such demands Mr. Partridge's more recent experiments 
in a loose technic and an impressionistic effect are likely to 
provoke discussion. To not a few who appreciate thoroughly the 
artist's mental grasp of his themes, this recent change of methods is 
an unwelcome one. That it is sustained, on the other hand, by the 
sculptor's personal conviction, there can be no doubt. 

The versatile Irish have found in America a favorable field for 
artistic development ; transplanted to this spacious land not a few 
of the race have revealed an unusual gift for sculptural expression. 
The promise of Thomas Crawford's brief life has been repeated in 
the case of several others during the years which have followed. 
Martin Milmore, Launt Thompson, and John Donoghue were all 
men of exceptional talent, whose careers were cut short prematurely. 
Mr. Donoghue, whose death by his own hand in July, 1903, sealed 
the tragedy of his life, was doubtless the most richly endowed of the 
three. Born in Chicago, in 1853, of very humble parentage, his 
vocation revealed itself to him even amidst his routine duties as an 
employee in the county clerk's office. A short period of schooling at 
the old Academy of Design of Chicago was so well rewarded that 



432 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

the young sculptor felt justified in going abroad. He studied for a 
time with Jouffroy at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, exhibiting a head, 
" Phaedra," in the Salon of 1SS0, at which time he returned to 
Chicago. Oscar Wilde, during his visit to America in 1882, called 
attention to Donoghue's artistic promise, and he was enabled to re- 
turn to Europe the following year. This time he established him- 
self in Rome, where he produced a number of remarkable works : a 
relief, "Seraphim" (Salon of 1S84); "Young Sophocles," his master- 
piece (Fig. 71), in 18S5; and a "Hunting Nymph" in 1886. Among 
his later works were a voluptuous Venus, shown at the Columbian 
Exposition under the title of "Kypros"; a "Boxer"; a colossal fig- 
ure called "The Spirit," modelled for the Columbian Exposition, 
but which never reached its destination, and is now lost ; and a 
" Saint Paul " in the rotunda of the new Congressional Library. 
The " Young Sophocles leading the Chorus after the Battle of 
Salamis " was undoubtedly Mr. Donoghue's highest inspiration, and 
stands among the most perfect examples of ideal sculpture yet pro- 
duced by an American. Its handling is plastic, yet shows singular 
restraint. Its large simplicity, due to the elimination of all unworthy 
detail, is remarkable. The meaning of the figure is as fine as its 
form ; it was conceived upon a very noble plane. The exuberance 
of the young sculptor's first ideal enhances the contrasts of his 
career. The journey from the exaltation which produced the 
" Young Sophocles," down to the gloom of his desperate undoing, 
is one of the most pitiful descents recorded in the annals of art. 

The Metropolitan Museum contains an old bust of Robert Burns, 
by Charles Calverley, an interesting contrast in style with this vet- 
eran sculptor's incisive portrait of himself shown at the exhibition of 
the National Sculpture Society in 1895. Mr. Calverley 's permanent 
reputation will rest largely upon his medallions, which, in their pre- 
cision and firmness of construction, are among the admirable prod- 
ucts of the art. A forceful characterization of aged Louis Menand 
is especially noteworthy. 

James Wilson Alexander McDonald has long been a pictu- 
resque figure in the world of monumental art, and has done much 
creditable work. William R. O' Donovan is best known for his por- 
trait busts, and has also produced a number of refined reliefs. The 





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FIG. 71.— DONOGHUE: YOUNG SOPHOCLES, ART INSTITUTE, CHICAGO. 



OTHER NEW YORK SCULPTORS 435 

reliefs of James E. Kelly are essentially illustrations in bronze, but, 
like his statuette, " Sheridan," they are full of spirit and often excel- 
lent in portraiture. Mr. Kelly's " General Buford " stands on the 
battlefield of Gettysburg, where is also his monument to the 6th 
regiment of New York Cavalry. " The Call to Arms," a figure of 
Columbia, some seventeen feet in height, crowns a soldier's monu- 
ment at Troy, New York. 

Others who have made something of a specialty of military 
figures are Frederick Moynihan, Alexander Doyle, and William 
Clark Noble. Mr. Noble has also done considerable portraiture, 
his statue of Channing, at Newport, Rhode Island, being one of his 
most successful works. George T. Brewster, likewise, has a reputa- 
tion for vigorous military figures. His " Defence of the Flag" is at 
Athens, Pennsylvania. Mr. Brewster's early " David," was hailed 
as a work of much promise. His " Indiana," on the Indiana state 
Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, is said to be the largest bronze 
figure in the country. His " Fountain of Nature " was conspicuous 
at the Pan-American Exposition, and, while appropriately far less 
restrained than its distant pendant, Mr. Grafly's " Fountain of Man," 
showed certain admirably plastic features. 

Frederick E. Triebel, a sculptor of German parentage, from 
Peoria, Illinois, made his debut at the Columbian Exposition with a 
considerable number of small marbles, the harvest of a prolonged 
stay in Florence. Best remembered of these works is the elaborate 
" Love knows no Caste," in which two well-modelled but unrelated 
figures are shown separated not only by their presumable social sta- 
tions, but also by much architectural detail and a wealth of cunningly 
carved accessories. The sculptor's unquestioned talent has been 
better applied since then upon subjects of legitimate sculptural form, 
most prominent among these works being a military monument in 
his native city. 

Another excellent memorial of similar character is the Soldiers' 
Monument at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which likewise pictures vividly 
the climax of a struggle around a standard bearer. This realistic 
group of several figures is the work of John S. Conway, who studied 
painting in Paris, and more recently in Rome has devoted himself 
to sculpture. Another American sculptor who continues to prefer 



436 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Rome as a residence is Waldo Story, son of William Wetmore 
Story. 

Louis Saint Gaudens has been rather lost sight of in his brother's 
fame, but is a sculptor of talent and excellent training in every phase 
of the art. His lions in the vestibule of the Boston Public Library 
are well known. His " Faun " at the Pan-American Exposition was 
counted worthy of a silver medal. He will have larger opportunity 
at the St. Louis Exposition, where he is to be represented in part by 
a colossal seated figure of " Painting," one of the permanent deco- 
rations of the Art Palace. 

Thomas Shields Clarke is by instinct and by training an artist. 
Born at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in i860, a graduate of Princeton 
in 1882, he devoted himself early to the study of drawing and paint- 
ing, first at the Art Students' League, and later in Paris under 
various masters. His excellent achievements on canvas have 
brought him honors at home and abroad; but a course in modelling 
under Chapu diverted his attention to sculpture. One of his earli- 
est efforts was that serious but somewhat unwieldy and but slightly 
decorative conception for a fountain, " The Cider Press," which was 
exhibited at the Columbian Exposition, and finally found a resting 
place in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. This work showed a 
vigorous and well-constructed nude figure turning with much effort 
the screw of a cider press, — a somewhat tantalizing motive for a 
drinking fountain. Four caryatides on the Appellate Court build- 
ing in New York show a more refined decorative sense. The 
subjects, " The Seasons," are charmingly presented with an intelli- 
gent regard for the material ; " Winter," in particular, is a work of 
much poetic and sculptural grace. Mr. Clarke's tribute to " Alma 
Mater," a work for the campus at Princeton, is a dignified, impersonal 
presentation of the theme — a seated female figure in classic drapery, 
to whom a nude athlete offers homage. 

Another well-known painter, William Sergeant Kendall, has also 
shown a decided aptitude for sculpture, his " Head of a Breton Girl " 
receiving an honorable mention at the Pan-American Exposition. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

THE YOUNGER GENERATION IN NEW YORK 

The opening twentieth century brings before us a group of 
young sculptors equipped by nature and by training as in the past 
few Americans have been. With a skill that would have bewildered 
our masters of twenty-five years ago, they stand ready to execute 
prodigies. In many cases their delicacy of taste, their fertility of 
imagination, — in short their personal value, — remains to be estab- 
lished. Some have had opportunity to reveal themselves in part. 

One of the most promising of this number is Hermon A. MacNeil. 
Born in Massachusetts in 1866, he showed early the usual artistic 
instinct for drawing. He began his studies in Boston schools and 
was graduated with the highest honors at the Massachusetts Normal 
Art School, whence he was called to the position of instructor in 
drawing at Cornell University. In 188S he went to Paris and in 
1890 exhibited a bust in the Salon. Returning to America, he was 
invited by Mr. Martiny to aid him in the preparation of his sketch 
models for the Columbian Exposition. In Chicago, later, he did 
effective original work on the Electricity building, and as other 
opportunities soon followed, he decided to make that city his 
permanent home. 

Well equipped with the training which the Parisian studios give, 
Mr. MacNeil was early discontented with the banality of modern 
sculptural themes. The makeshift subjects of his comrades seemed 
to him unworthy. He wanted to do things more original and more 
truly expressive. Western life and the Indian had for him a great 
appeal, and he made several trips to the redman's reservations 
north and west, in order to study what he considered the most 
sculptural motifs which America offers. His reliefs over the doors 
of the Marquette building in Chicago — scenes of the life and death 

437 



43§ 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



of Pere Marquette — show to what good use he put his material. 
He was wont to talk of the artistic possibilities of the Indian in 
sculpture with an enthusiasm that was eloquent if not always con- 
vincing. To him they were as fine as Greek warriors and as worthy 
to be immortalized. 

It was in the autumn of 1S95 that the first award of the Rinehart 
scholarship was made, and two young sculptors were selected to 




Fig. 72. — MacNeil : Agnf.se. 

enjoy its privileges abroad for four years. The first men to be thus 
honored were Mr. MacNeil and Mr. Proctor, the animal sculptor. 
In many ways they must have been ideal — those days in Rome. 
Four years of them with three hundred and sixty-five days in each 
year ! To live in the Villa dell'Aurora, to work upon subjects of one's 
own choice, with no care and all expenses paid — what better could 
an artist ask for? The only requirements made by the trustees were 
"satisfying evidences of industry," to be attested in the form of "a 



THE YOUNGER GENERATION IN NEW YORK 439 

life-size figure at the end of the second year, a relief containing two 
life-size figures before the close of the third year, and during the 
fourth year a life-size group of two or more figures in the round." 
These Mr. MacNeil set himself to creating, with a statuette or so 
and some remarkable busts added thereto, as it were, for good meas- 
ure ; the while his gifted wife modelled dainty little figures, adjuncts 
for teapots and inkstands, and all sorts of pretty household bronzes. 

Meantime Mr. Mac Neil's friends at home wondered what would 
be the effect of this long sojourn so near the heart of the old-time 
classic life. The young sculptor must appreciate the Greek the 
more; would he admire the Indian the less? Would the physical 
vigor of the wild man, his picturesqueness and his barbaric trap- 
pings, sink into a second place in his estimation as the ideals of 
youth gave way to others, loftier and more profound ? He answered 
the question in the four successive works which he created in the 
studio in the Villa dell'Aurora. A glance at them will repay atten- 
tion, not only because of their interest, but because this remarkable 
series of student efforts — in an unusual sense public property — 
illustrates so well the evolution of an artist's nature. 

The first was " The Moqui Runner," a naked Indian speeding 
through cactus growth, his face aflame with fanatic zeal, his hair 
streaming in the wind, and in his hands a loathsome tangle of ser- 
pents. It is savagery personified. The little figure looks as though 
it would rush by and out of sight, so animated is the pose ; but it is 
modelled very closely, with a seriousness of treatment and of expres- 
sion befitting its religious significance. Of course painstaking accu- 
racy of detail is not best suited to convey the impression of the 
flashing light and shade of a human projectile ; but this thought 
opens another subject, and a discussion of the appropriateness of 
violent movement for sculptural representation might lead too far 
afield. As may be imagined, this figure appeals to the same re- 
stricted clientele which would enjoy Mr. Bartlett's " Ghost Dancer." 
Its beauty is that of good construction and admirable modelling. 
While poetically delinquent and void of ideality, the figure might 
also possess an ethnological interest if it bore the characteristics 
of the race which it purports to represent. The Moquis are, how- 
ever, a slender, delicate race of gentle mien and regular features, — 



440 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

almost Japanese in suggestion, — while this creature has the build 
of a young Hercules and the face of an amiable demon. Perhaps 
it was done at too long range — Rome is far from Arizona. 

The next figure, " A Primitive Chant," possesses every technical 
quality of good sculpture. While the idea of an Indian making 
strange noises by blowing or shouting in the crook of his arm 
awakens no responsive thrill of imagination, this is nevertheless a 
powerful work. Its triumph is all the more marked since our sur- 
render is, in a sense, an unwilling one. We are not prejudiced in 
favor of this tuneful creature, who, unlike a Hector or an Achilles, 
brings to his aid no emotional backing of poetry, no prestige of three 
thousand years' success upon the " boards." This is sculpture pure 
and simple, — beauty of form, strength with refinement of modelling, 
compactness, breadth. The figure kneels, taking hold of the earth 
with powerful limbs ; the hands are clasped, the right elbow tight 
across the body, the arm raised at a right angle, concealing largely 
the savage face. The expanded chest and powerful back have fasci- 
nated the sculptor; he has shaped them superbly. 

That these are adequate reasons for the statue one is hardly pre- 
pared to say, though such beauty of modelling is almost a sufficient 
excuse. The trouble is that with nine persons out of ten, nay, with 
ninety-nine out of the hundred, beautiful modelling is not interest- 
ing nor a raison d'etre ; and with the more thoughtful the very fact 
of such costly elaboration enhances the perplexity. Why so much 
labor and so much time expended upon a thing unbeautiful in 
idea? With all its masterful workmanship, and even its sculptural 
pose, it remains but an illustration of an incident, a custom ; curious 
it may be, and even to some persons moderately interesting, but pos- 
sessing for none a deep significance. Where does the emotion come 
in — the poetic thrill which we are told is fundamental in the gene- 
sis of every great work of art, and which in turn a truly great work 
must convey in some fashion and some degree to men and women 
of taste ? We are obliged to admit that in the lack of any supple- 
mentary hint at a deeper import — as of mourning or of love-making, 
of solitude, or of worship — the only response awakened by the action 
of the figure is a rather unsympathetic query regarding the nature of 
the "music" produced in so outlandish a fashion! 




FIG. 73. — MACNEIL: THE SUN VOW, owned by Howard Shaw, Esq., Chicago. 



THE YOUNGER GENERATION IN NEW YORK 443 

The next year Mr. Mac Neil reached the problem of the relief, — 
"a relief containing two life-size figures"; but the sculptor was am- 
bitious and spurned all restraint. He set himself to devising a large 
composition on the theme, " From Chaos came Light." It is made 
up of many figures, that is to say of four or five almost complete, 
and numerous others suggested by heads and hands emerging from 
vaporous billows. A large high relief in form, it shows a swirl of 
these powerfully modelled bodies, emerging, reaching, ever ascend- 
ing, as they struggle from their cerements of mist and darkness into 
the light. With faces that aspire and yearn, with hands that cling, 
they press forward, led by a form of rare beauty, which, already in 
the upper world, raises pure eyes to the fountain of light. Later, 
certain defects creep into view ; — slight things that tend to moderate 
a trifle one's first enthusiasm, but which by no means spoil the 
brave work: jawbones of exaggerated length, an uncertain leg, a 
head unaccounted for, and others that count for too much. Above 
all, the culminating figure, while beautiful, is unduly realistic and her 
face is not quite equal to the demands of the situation. But the 
relief was a remarkable undertaking for a student, and promised 
fine things to follow. 

The " Sun Vow " (Fig. 73), the most perfect of Mr. MacNeil's 
productions, is an enlargement of a sketch which he made in 
Chicago. An old Indian, seated, watches the effort of a boy who 
shoots an arrow toward the sun. The group is of life-size, compact, 
and admirably sculptural from every point of view. The modelling 
is careful, yet never dry. There are few American sculptors who 
manipulate the clay as charmingly as does Mr. MacNeil. His work 
is full of delightful touches and felicitous passages, yet the firm 
construction is never sacrificed to the superficial graces. He stops 
short of over-elegance, but even where he simplifies arbitrarily 
for purpose of subordination, as in the detail of the war-bonnet, 
the charm of handling is still apparent, — indeed, so apparent that 
one wonders if these bits of still life have not been done with even 
more zest than the figures themselves. Every part is elaborated in 
the same manner, — moccasins, robe, braided hair ; but the elabora- 
tion of detail has always the subtle charm of low-relief work, the 
surfaces flowing together most suavely, without jarring edges or 



444 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



black holes. The artist has taken full advantage of the opportunity 
presented by his subject for contrasting physiques. One notes the 
consistent character of the two figures in their slightest detail ; it 
tells of the sincerity of a skilled man, delighted with his theme 
and his models, full of the exhilaration of discovery and of the pleas- 
ure of doing. The expressions of the two faces are remarkably 

good, the old man's earnest 
squinting in the light being 
extremely realistic ; while the 
pose of the youth, savage 
though he be, has in it some- 
thing very winning. The fig- 
ures are bound together in 
sentiment as well as in compo- 
sition, a sentiment which any 
one can understand and with 
which any one can sympathize. 
The group is so satisfying, 
especially in the beautiful har- 
monious bronze, that one could 
scarcely find a serious defect 
to criticise, from whatever point 
of view. No one grudges the 
young artist the honors which 
this work has brought him : a 
silver medal at the Paris Ex- 
position of 1900, and a gold 
medal at the Pan-American. 
Even were his career to be cut short to-day, this group, like Stew- 
ardson's " Bather," or Donoghue's " Young Sophocles," is good 
enough and important enough to assure its author a permanent 
place in the history of American art. 

Mr. MacNeil became restive at last in quiet Rome and, forsaking 
that miniature " mesa " from which the Villa dell' Aurora dominates 
the Italian capital, he betook himself in 1899 to Paris, where there 
was work to be done in the decoration of the United States building 
at the Exposition. Since his return to America he has found plenty 




Fig. 74. — Lukeman : Manu, Appellate Court. 
New York. 



THE YOUNGER GENERATION IN NEW YORK 445 

of orders to occupy his time and talent. A pediment for the An- 
thropological building, the massive and impressive group " Despot- 
ism," and the medal of award of the Exposition were Mr. MacNeil's 
share in Buffalo's great artistic enterprise. Two busts of women 
modelled by him are among the finest works yet produced by an 
American. Herbert Adams alone has surpassed the " Agnese " 
(Fig. 72), which was done in Rome from a patrician beauty, and ex- 
hibited at Buffalo in 1901. " Beatrice," a later work, is no less beau- 
tiful in execution, though somewhat strained in pose. These busts 
illustrate the artistic conscience of the sculptor, his delight as well 
as his skill in pure modelling. Earnest and industrious, he is blessed 
with a continuity of energy which counts for more than paroxysms of 
effort. Mr. MacNeil is now engaged upon the great " Fountain of 
Liberty " for the St. Louis Exposition. He is also designing the 
sculpture for a large memorial arch in honor of President McKinley, 
to be erected at Columbus, Ohio, and has just finished an important 
group of Indians for Portland, Oregon. 

Roland Hinton Perry is an exception among the New York 
sculptors in being a native of that city. He was born in 1870, and, 
as his numerous achievements attest, he found his vocation early. 
Entering the Art Students' League at sixteen, he studied drawing 
and painting for three years, when he went to Paris. He was with 
Gerome for a year, then exchanged the brush for the modelling tool, 
studying with Chapu, and later with Puech. He is one of the few 
American sculptors whose art may be described as florid. He 
delights in restless surfaces and exaggeration of muscle, and in 
his early work, like " Siegfried and the Dragon," the immaturity of 
his style was very evident, but likewise the promise of great vigor and 
of considerable skill. His " Thor struggling with the Midgard Ser- 
pent " showed a decided advance and has won much favorable com- 
ment. Mr. Perry's first important commission was for the " Fountain 
of Neptune " before the Congressional Library. This spectacular 
work, involving five figures, two sea-horses, and several humbler 
denizens of the deep, was accomplished easily in a year and a half. 
It is regrettable that the time was so short, for with all their vigor 
and audacity the figures lack the beauty which comes from careful, 
appreciative study of nature. They are effective at a distance, as 



446 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

stage scenery is effective, but are less interesting on nearer approach. 
Mr. Perry's giant " Elk " for Portland, Oregon, showed a more docile 
dependence upon nature. His " Circe " and " Lion Amoureux " illus- 
trate his skill with the female figure, while certain of his portrait busts 
have been handled with much charm. His most recent works are a 
series of decorative figures for the New Amsterdam Theatre. 




Fig. 75. — Lopez: The Sprinter. 

The year 1870 saw the birth of more than one American sculptor, 
for Henry Augustus Lukeman was born in Richmond, Virginia, at 
that time. He spent his boyhood in New York, early giving proof 
of his love for the art of sculpture, and entering when ten years of age 
a modelling class held in a boys' club. Three years later he became 
a pupil of Launt Thompson, in whose studio he remained for a num- 
ber of years, devoting his evenings to the study of drawing at the 
National Academy of Design and at the Cooper Union. After 
Mr. Thompson's death, Mr. Lukeman found employment as a mod- 



THE YOUNGER GENERATION IN NEW YORK 447 

eller, executing ornamental and architectural designs for public 
buildings, until the preparations for the Columbian Exposition 
attracted him to Chicago. There he made the acquaintance of Daniel 
C. French, whom he assisted in the enlargement of the colossal statue 
of " The Republic," which stood in the Court of Honor. Later he 
visited Paris and was for six months a pupil at the Ecole des Beaux- 
Arts under Falguiere. On his return to America he became a pupil 
of Daniel C. French, and later his assistant. For some years he has 
been executing independent commissions. Although so young, Mr. 
Lukeman has produced many works : portraits, busts, bas-reliefs, 
memorials, and monuments. His best known works are his re- 
markable and architecturally effective statue of " Manu, the Law- 
giver of India " (Fig. 74) for the Appellate Court building, New 
York, and his statue of President McKinley for Adams, Massa- 
chusetts. 

Still another who counts his years from 1870 is Charles A. 
Lopez, who was born at Matamoras, Mexico, but came early to New 
York. His art education was begun in the studio of J. Q. A. Ward, 
and was continued in Paris with Falguiere. Mr. Lopez is accounted 
one of the most skilful of the younger men. His interesting work 
at the Charleston Exhibition has been suipassed by his " Sprinter " 
(Fig. 75), an admirable study of the nude figure in action, or, rather, 
in the tense moment that precedes action. His "Mohammed" is 
one of the decorations on the Appellate Court building, New York. 
A relief, "Maternity" (Fig. 76), shows an ingenious and original 
handling. Mr. Lopez has been commissioned to erect an important 
monument in memory of President McKinley at Philadelphia. 

Andrew O'Connor, a pupil of Daniel C. French, received a bronze 
medal at the Pan-American Exposition for a portrait bust of notable 
workmanship. Since that time he has been employed principally 
upon some bronze doors which complete, with those of Messrs. 
Adams and Martiny, the Vanderbilt Memorial for St. Bartholomew's 
Church. Mr. O'Connor's reliefs have been pronounced by some the 
finest of all. At any rate, they show remarkable aptitude for com- 
position in many figures, and an exceptional felicity of handling. To 
this young artist has been intrusted one of the most important of 
the sculptural decorations at the St. Louis Exposition, namely, the 



44§ 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



crowning figure, in bronze, of the permanent Art Palace, a seated 
statue of " Inspiration." 

Another interesting sculptor is Jerome Conner, who was con- 
nected for some time with the Roycroft establishment at East Aurora, 
New York, but who has since removed to Syracuse. Mr. Conner 
exhibited at Philadelphia, in 1903, a number of studies which give 
him claim upon the respect of his colleagues. His special field is 
the interpretation of the life of the workingman — an office that he 
performs with remarkable directness and sympathy. 

Many other sculptors remain to be mentioned. John H. Roude- 
bush, was awarded a bronze medal at the Paris Exposition of 1900, 
and a silver medal at Buffalo in 1901, for bis group, "The Wres- 
tlers." At the latter exhibition, as at Paris, the preceding year, the 
reliefs of John Flanagan and those of Victor D. Brenner, a pupil of 

Roty, were particularly admired. 
The former received silver med- 
als at the two expositions ; the 
latter, medals of bronze. Mr. 
Flanagan, who began his work 
with Mr. Truman H. Bartlett of 
Boston, studied later with Saint 
Gaudens, and in Paris with 
Chapu and Falguiere. He has 
spent much time upon the sculp- 
ture of an elaborate clock for the 
Congressional Library. Amory 
C. Simons, who was born in 
fig. 76. -Lopez: l86g at Charleston, South Caro- 

lina, and who was a pupil of the Pennsylvania Academy and of 
Dampt and Puech in Paris, won an honorable mention at the 
Salon, and again at the Pan-American Exposition for his ingenious 
" Surprise." Edward Berge received at the Pan-American Expo- 
sition a bronze medal for his " Muse finding the Head of Orpheus," 
and Charles R. Harley was equally honored for his " Pierrot " 
and " Mother of Sorrows." " The Snake Charmer " of Louis 
Potter attracted favorable comment at the same exhibition; while 
his later busts, especially those of " A Tunisian Jewess " and a 




THE YOUNGER GENERATION IN NEW YORK 



449 



" Young Bedouin," are worthy of high praise. A figure of " Lake 
Superior," by Carl E. Tefft, was particularly noticeable among 
the decorations of the electric tower at Buffalo. Its grace of line and 
careful modelling distinguished this work from the majority of its com- 
panions. The Director of Sculpture at the Pan-American and the 
St. Louis fairs has been able to offer, at the latter exposition, still 
more generous opportunities to young sculptors to show their power. 
Among those who, through this admirable policy, are coming into 
prominence, are: James E. Fraser, pupil of the Art Institute of 
Chicago and of Saint Gaudens, sculptor of " Cherokee Chief " ; 
Gustave Gerlach, a pupil of Karl Bitter, and sculptor of the 
colossal personification of " Minnesota " ; Carl Heber, sculptor of 
" Indian Territory," and of an admirable nucle, entitled " Pastoral"; 
L. O. Lawrie, pupil of Martiny and Saint Gaudens, sculptor of 
"•South Dakota"; Frank H. Packer, pupil of Martiny and Saint 
Gaudens, sculptor of "Nebraska"; Antonin Skodik, pupil of Art 
Students' League, sculptor of " Montana " and two figures for the 
Varied Industries building ; Adolph Weinmann, pupil of Saint 
Gaudens and Charles Niehaus, sculptor of " Kansas," the group 
" Destiny of the Red Man," and two figures with shield, for 
Machinery building; and Bruno Louis Zimm, pupil of Karl Bitter, 
and sculptor of " North Dakota." 

A novel note has been contributed to American sculpture by 
the " figurines " of Mrs. Bessie Potter Vonnoh, which, though slight, 
possess a significance quite disproportionate to their size and num- 
ber. The prompt and cordial recognition which they won from the 
artist world was a greater surprise to the modest girl who had made 
them " for fun " than it was to those who had watched her progress. 
While their analogy to the figurines of Tanagra has often been 
pointed out, no one traced them to their true inspiration, the tiny 
bronzes sent to the Columbian Exposition by Prince Paul Trou- 
betskoy, which were exhibited in the Italian section. These remark- 
able plastic sketches quite captivated Miss Potter, and she forthwith 
set about " doing Troubetskoys," as she termed her new diversion. 
Her skill and her artistic independence were sufficient to insure com- 
plete originality. The works of the Russian gave the suggestion 
merely, and the little figures and groups which sprang up in the 

2G 



45° 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



Chicago studio were as much Miss Potter's personal expression as 
they were indisputably American and of the day. The first tentative 
experiments were naturally efforts at portraiture — miniature studies 
of willing friends. Presently these fashionable-looking little person- 
ages were compelled to give way to such freer conceptions as " The 
Duet," " A Girl Dancing," and the very delightful little " Reader." 

The artist struck a still 
deeper note in her first 
" Mother and Babe," and 
in such themes of tender- 
ness and in the portraits 
of children she has done 
her most valuable work. 
The " Mother and Babe," 
herewith illustrated (Fig. 
77), is a dainty portrait 
study, a recent production. 
Several other women 
sculptors of New York 
received their preliminary 
education at the Art In- 
stitute of Chicago. Mrs. 
Hermon A. MacNeil has 
done interesting work in 
ideal subjects as well as 
in applied sculpture. Her 
" Foolish Virgin " has de- 
served the praise which 
it has received. Miss Helen Mears, for some time Mr. Saint Gau- 
dens's assistant, is now engaged upon a marble figure of Miss 
Frances E. Willard for the sculpture gallery of the national Capitol. 
Miss Janet Scudder, whose work reflects Mr. MacMonnies's influ- 
ence, has been signally honored in Paris, two of her medallion 
portraits having been purchased by the government for the Lux- 
embourg Gallery. Miss Evelyn Longman, the most recent of these 
talented women from the West to seek fortune in New York, has 
enjoyed the benefits of Mr. French's instruction, and will have 




Fig. 77. — Vonnoh : Mother and Babe. 



THE YOUNGER GENERATION IN NEW YORK 451 

opportunity to display her skill upon a winged figure of " Victory," 
which is to surmount the Varied Industries building at the St. Louis 
Exposition. 

Other work is being done for the same exposition by Miss 
Elsie Ward of Denver, a pupil of Saint Gaudens, and by Miss Enid 
Yandell of Louisville, Kentucky, who has had considerable experi- 
ence in such undertakings. At Chicago, in 1893, Miss Yandell 
was represented by the caryatides of the Women's building and 
much more worthily by a clever figure of Daniel Boone. At Nash- 
ville, in 1897, Miss Yandell was awarded the contract for a colossal 
" Athena," which stood in front of the Art Palace ; and at the Pan- 
American Exposition she showed the plaster cast of her elaborate 
" Carrie Brown Memorial Fountain," erected in Providence, Rhode 
Island, the product of a considerable stay in Paris. In this impor- 
tant work she tried the difficult experiment of a combination of 
figures of various scales. The result is confusing, but certain 
features of the struggling group are very fine indeed. There is 
a back of a noble, Amazon-like woman which would do honor to 
any of our sculptors. Miss Yandell has made many small figures 
with admirable skill, and abounds in happy inventions. In this 
diminutive work and its application to household embellishment 
Mrs. Clio Bracken has also shown considerable taste. Her " Omar 
Khayyam Punch Bowl " is said to be very ingeniously conceived. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

DECORATIVE SCULPTORS AND MEN OF FOREIGN BIRTH 

It is a curious fact that the list of architectural sculptors in the 
United States is made up almost exclusively of men of foreign birth. 
This is not without its significance and would seem to indicate, not 
that our sculptors are necessarily more ambitious than their brothers 
from over the sea, but that they are less endowed with the decorative 
sense. It is here particularly that inheritance and precedent count 
for much. In sculpture we have them not, and must look to the 
children of France and Germany, of Austria and Italy, for the more 
"musical" expression of the sculptor's art — for such is decoration. 
From the earliest efforts of Greenough and Powers down to the 
present time most of our sculpture has been bare and austere, lack- 
ing in rhythm and grace of movement as well as in that playfulness 
of surface treatment which is called sculptural " color," and which is 
the fioritura of the art. When it has been attempted the results 
have shown, as a rule, no structural development, but rather a veneer 
of borrowed ornament, through the crudity and inappropriateness 
of which the plagiarism makes itself but too evident. Latterly a 
change has been observable; already a few of our sculptors have 
decked their solid virtues with these external graces, — which are, 
however, from within, — and it is gratifying to note that these men 
are not all of foreign birth. Those, however, who make a profession 
of decorative sculpture, who practise with success the delicate art of 
beautifying architecture with sculptural adjuncts, are almost without 
exception men from over the sea, with the schooling of the centuries 
in their clever hands and fertile brains. 

Take, for example, Mr. Philip Martiny, perhaps the most brilliant 
technician of the group. Mr. Martiny was born in Alsace, France, in 
1S5S, and claims lineal descent from Simone di Martino, an Italian 

45 2 



DECORATIVE SCULPTORS AND MEN OF FOREIGN BIRTH 



453 



painter of the Sienese school, who lived in the thirteenth and four- 
teenth centuries. Beginning his career in the studios of France, 
where he worked as a boy, studying under Eugene Dock, Mr. Mar- 
tiny received the most careful training in the fundamental principles 
of his art, and that almost incessant practice which counts for so 
much in the mastery of any profession. Later, coming to the United 
States, he became an assistant in the studio of Augustus Saint 
Gaudens, where his 
native exuberance was 
doubtless directed for 
a time into' paths of 
exceptional sobriety. 

Mr. Martiny works 
with incredible rapid- 
ity and apparently 
with little reflection, 
yet with such an in- 
stinct for the right 
thing, decoratively 
considered, that he 
seldom fails to pro- 
duce a beautiful re- 
sult. His decorations 
on the Agricultural 
building of the Colum- 
bian Exposition made 
him known to the 
country at large, and 
will be recalled with 
pleasure by all who saw them. They could scarcely have been 
surpassed, and gave to decorative sculpture a higher standard 
than it had held before in this country. Those caryatides and 
" Abundances " which, near at hand, seemed made of sharp 
grooves and wooden visages, were so admirably adapted to their 
positions that they became delightful ornaments when interspersed 
among the broad surfaces of the lofty facades. The vast tympani 
at either end of the building were filled merely with two colossal 




Fig. 



78. — Martiny: Fountain of Abundance, 
Pan-American Exposition. 



454 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

figures of great beauty of line, and instantly intelligible to the eye. 
It was upon the terminal decorations, of the roof, however, that Mr. 
Martiny's fancy had freest rein. ."Perhaps there was overmuch 
sculpture there, but which of those groups could one have wished 
to spare? The ingenious paraphrase of Carpeaux's " Four Quarters 
of the Globe " will be remembered for its graceful nude figures, sur- 
prisingly simple yet rich in modelling ; and the immense groups, which 
included horses and cattle, were no less decorative. But perhaps 
most beautiful of all were the very original and yet formal " Seasons " 
— draped figures seated back to back, with uplifted arms from which 
depended garlands. From a distance these four figures united to 
form a symmetrical bouquet of rich lights and shades, an exquisite 
ornament for the pavilions of the great white palace. 

Mr. Martiny also did certain decorations of a severer type for the 
Columbian Art Palace and for the Art Institute of Chicago. The 
sculpture of the grand staircase in the Library of Congress is his, 
and at the Pan-American Exposition of 1901 his "Fountain of 
Abundance" (Fig. 78) was one of the most conspicuous decora- 
tions. Slight as is the facial beauty of its central figure, the effect 
of the whole from a sufficient distance was charming. Who but 
Martiny could have improvised such a composition so easily ! 
The arms, it is said, were casts hanging in his studio ; they were 
attached sans facon to the little figure, which was quickly enveloped 
in Mr. Martiny's special style of papery drapery. The head evidently 
took no time ; then garlands of flowers and garlands of babies were 
hung about, and this spontaneous work was complete — at least it 
seems as though it must have sprung into being in some such magi- 
cal fashion. 

Mr. Martiny's novel and very chaste Soldiers' and Sailors' Monu- 
ment was unveiled in Jersey City in 1899, and consists of a seated 
female figure in classic costume, with helmet and sword, offering an 
olive branch with outstretched hand. The abundant drapeiy is fine, 
the pedestal most harmonious, and the total effect of the monument, 
though unusual, is strangely impressive. Among other works of 
importance executed by this sculptor are eight figures and a foun- 
tain for the residence in New York of Senator William A. Clark of 
Montana ; two groups for the new Chamber of Commerce, New 



DECORATIVE SCULPTORS AND MEN OF FOREIGN BIRTH 455 



York, the central figures of which represent John Jay and Alexander 
Hamilton; statuary for the Carnegie Library at Washington, D.C. ; 
figures for the Courthouse at Elizabeth, New Jersey; statuary on the 
Appellate Court building, New York ; medallion portraits of Generals 
Alexander Webb, Hancock, etc., at West Point (Cullom Memorial); 
statuary and group for the Kunhardt Memorial in the Moravian 
Cemetery, Grant City, Staten Island ; the caryatides for the residence 
of Charles T. Yerkes, New York; the tympanum over the doors of 
the memorial chapel in memory of Elliot F. Shepherd, at Scarboro- 
on-the-Hudson ; and a set 
of bronze doors of elaborate 
workmanship for Saint Bar- 
tholomew's Church, New 
York, a portion of the Van- 
derbilt Memorial in which 
Messrs. Adams and O'Con- 
nor have also participated. 

Of late Mr. Martiny has 
given more attention to 
monumental statuary. His 
excellent figure of Vice- 
President Hobart was 
erected in Paterson, New 
Jersey, in 1902, and he is 
now engaged upon a statue 
of President McKinley for 
Springfield, Massachusetts. 
One of his most pleasing designs is his project for a monument to 
Admiral de Ternay and his men, to be erected at Newport, Rhode 
Island (Fig. 79). In front of an obelisk a winged figure upon a 
decorative prow lifts the victor's wreath. In her left hand she holds 
a trumpet. The movement is powerful yet full of grace; the head is 
more seriously considered than in most of Mr. Martiny 's works ; the 
wind-blown drapery is charmingly effective, — the complete design a 
union of dignity and decorative elegance. 

As a whole Mr. Martiny's work, however spontaneous, is far 
removed from the emotional. Its value does not depend upon its 




79- 



■Martiny: Victory. 



456 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

deeper significance. He is not an interpreter nor a devotee of 
" character " ; he is neither a mystic nor a moralist, and to express 
in terms of sculpture the " meaning of life " is no part of his pro- 
gramme. He is first and last a decorator, a decorator not by chance 
or circumstance, but by instinct. Hence his art, while appealing 
little to the imagination, serves its legitimate purpose in delighting 
the eye and mind through the poetry of light and shadow and line. 
At his best he, of all our sculptors, shows the most highly developed 
decorative sense and the most astonishing skill in its expression. 
He brings us what we as a nation lack, the gift which France pos- 
sesses in such prodigal abundance. 

Mr. Karl Bitter's contribution to art has been so large that, 
although by birth and education a foreigner, he has earned a 
high place among American sculptors. His connection with three 
World's Fairs, as the most conspicuous decorator of the first and 
the official director of sculpture at the two succeeding ones, — in- 
cluding the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, in St. Louis, in 1904, — 
is in itself enough to emphasize his activity and genius for organi- 
zation. He was born in 1867 in Vienna. At the gymnasium he 
absorbed Latin and Greek, and at the Academy of Fine Arts he 
found his forte in the study of sculpture. From the age of sixteen 
he made every effort to come to America, but did not receive the 
consent of his parents until 1889, when he sailed for New York. 
With no other equipment than his technical education, he ar- 
rived in the strange land, applied for citizenship, and set to work 
as an assistant with a firm of house decorators. He had neither 
friends nor relatives in this country, but soon made the acquaint- 
ance of Mr. Richard M. Hunt, the architect, who at once took an 
interest in the homeless youth, and later opened to him the door 
of opportunity. However, the young Austrian was by no means 
unable to look out for himself. The very first year of his stay it 
was his privilege to compete for one of the gates of Trinity Church, 
New York, and, unknown and practically friendless, to win the order 
on the merits of his skilful work. This commission enabled him to 
open a small studio in Thirteenth Street, New York, which was soon 
exchanged for more commodious quarters farther up-town. Then 
came the Columbian Exposition and Mr. Bitter's larger opportunity. 



DECORATIVE SCULPTORS AND MEN OF FOREIGN BIRTH 457 

It will be remembered that the stately Administration building was 
the work of Mr. Hunt, who, by this time convinced of the young 
artist's talent, invited him to design the elaborate sculptural decora- 
tions which were to embellish its every available space. Mr. Bitter 
was fully equal to the task and knew it ; nor did he hesitate to add 
to this great undertaking the further responsibility of decorating 
the Liberal Arts building at the urgent request of its designer, 
Mr. George B. Post. 

Mr. Bitter's work in Chicasro was his first introduction to the 
general public. To most of us those great lawless compositions on 
the Administration building were curious rather than beautiful, 
though all recognized the fertility of invention and the skill of the 
audacious foreigner who threatened to overwhelm the structure with 
his lightly conceived giants of plaster. He pictured the " Elements 
Controlled " and the " Elements Uncontrolled," and the zest which 
he put into these themes, — the latter in particular, — revealed a tem- 
perament of singular power and intrepidity, if not a mature taste. 
The Administration building of the most orderly and carefully con- 
sidered of all expositions was " enlivened " with cataracts of contorted 
figures wild as the dreams of Bernini or Puget, — though more imme- 
diately related to the nymphs of the Opera House of Vienna, — whose 
appropriate abode should have been nothing more formal than an 
aquarium or a grotto at Versailles. The massive groups above were 
more satisfactory, if less picturesque, while the winged trumpeters 
frinorina- the base of the dome had an air of well-ordered elation 
harmonious with the time and place. With all our natural resource- 
fulness there were but two, or at most three, native Americans who 
could have " swung " such work with the easy mastery, the profes- 
sional braviira, that Mr. Bitter showed in nearly every sketch and 
to a certain extent in the final groups, — those enormous construc- 
tions of timber and staff, built up of excelsior and fibre dipped in 
plaster and chopped into form a la hachette. 

Later came various notable works and a great mass of decorative 
material turned out with a rapidity and a profusion which invites the 
use of the term " commercial." Probably Mr. Bitter w r ould claim no 
other classification for the larger portion of this copious output, only 
insisting that it has been good work of its kind. This is cheerfully 



453 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



conceded, nor is there any doubt that much of this wholesale and 
impersonal production is not only very excellent technically, but of 
great decorative charm. If in detail it is of too superficial a charac- 
ter to hold our attention long, being conceived in a lighter mood 
and designed for another purpose ; if it seems too purely a product 

of intuition and dexterity 
to merit serious study, — 
it becomes in mass of the 
highest importance as a 
quiet, persistent influence 
toward the elevation of 
the standard of American 
workmanship, and of no 
less importance in the 
cultivation of American 
tatse through familiarity 
with admirable examples. 
A catalogue at hand 
of Mr. Bitter's works of- 
fers material sufficient to 
fill many pages. In it are 
named figures and figure 
reliefs (some of the latter 
thirty and forty feet long) 
for " Biltmore " and other 
residences of the Vander- 
bilts, for the homes of 
C. P. Huntington, John Jacob Astor, and many others. But still more 
numerous are his decorations for public buildings, libraries, churches, 
stores, etc., in most of our principal cities. Notable among these are 
the enormous reliefs for the Broad Street station of the Pennsylvania 
Railroad, at Philadelphia. The pediment is adorned with a group 
some fifty feet in length, representing " Mercury and Athena advanc- 
ing in the Chariot of Civilization." Below, in the waiting-room, is 
another vast allegory picturing "The Triumph of Civilization." Works 
of such size and intricacy would represent years of toil for the average 
plodder, even were it possible to imagine his arriving at the suavity 




Fig. So. — Bitter: Standard Bearer, 
Pan -American Exposition. 



DECORATIVE SCULPTORS AND MEN OF FOREIGN BIRTH 459 

and cleverness, the grace and elegance, of these gigantic panels. It 
is a part of Mr. Bitter's gift to be able to design for a shopful of 
assistants and to direct the execution of many things at once. The 
sculptural result may not be profound, it may not take hold of one 
like an individual appeal, it certainly never can clutch at one's heart 
as do certain works of much less suavity and elegance and grace ; 
but it is a gift indeed to be able to create spontaneously, unweary- 
ingly, these beautiful things. To make such a contribution to the 
charm of our cities is as worthy a work as the other. After all, the 
finest thing in the world is to make use of one's special, distinctive 
gifts to the best advantage. We should feel grateful to Mr. Bitter 
for every one of those delightful mantelpieces and friezes, for all the 
spandrels and cartouches, for the whole army of graceful stone men 
and women, be they caryatides, evangelists, or bacchantes ! 

Mr. Bitter has taken an active part in the affairs of the National 
Sculpture Society, having been for some time a member of the 
Board of Directors. When the commissioners of the Pan-Ameri- 
can Exposition applied for a director of sculpture, he was nomi- 
nated to that position by the Society. His administration was an 
artistic and a financial success. The total amount expended 
approached a quarter of a million dollars, which sum kept about 
thirty-five American artists and over a hundred assistants busy for 
more than a year. What is more to the point, it enriched the 
buildings and grounds of the " City of Light " with a wealth of 
effective statuary, admirably suited to its purpose. 

Whatever criticisms may have been applied to the individual 
sculptures at Buffalo, there were certain conspicuous features so 
evidently appropriate, so perfectly adapted to their position, that not a 
syllable has been uttered against them. Mr. Bitter's personal contri- 
bution, the enormous " Standard Bearers " (Fig. So) of the great py- 
lons, were among the finest things ever devised for any exposition. 
One does not require of festal decorations that reserve and inevita- 
bleness which we demand in permanent monuments. A rearing 
horse is an abomination under a portrait figure, yet in these fanciful 
works the very instability of the pose delighted us. Mr. Bitter 
stood his horses almost on end ; they fairly sat on their haunches 
and threw out their feet for balance. Like the fluttering banner 



460 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

above them, their exuberance filled the spectator with elation ; they 
gave the note of joy to which the whole gala scene was attuned. 
The construction of these handsome monsters — forty feet in height 

— was masterful, and they showed a selection of just such details as 
would be most valuable, and of absolutely no more. It may not 
be amiss to point out that, for all their restlessness, the fiery steeds 
did not threaten to walk off their pedestals. While they spurned 
the ground and seemed ready to mount skyward, like Pegasus, their 
poise and balance were so perfect that they suggested no catastrophe. 
They were of a different breed from the imperilled charger of Rich- 
mond and Jackson's performing horse in Washington. 

In the building of the arch for the Dewey reception in New 
York Mr. Bitter was one of the leading spirits. Of the four groups 
on the piers his realistic composition was generally the favorite. It 
was a stirring conception, a vivid epitome of naval warfare. 

We have saved something for the last, as indeed has Mr. Bitter 
himself — a glimpse of another phase of character and of other 
aspirations than have been previously attributed to this popular 
artist. At the second exhibition of the National Sculpture Society, 
in 1S95, Mr. Bitter's bust of Dr. Pepper, provost of the University 
of Pennsylvania, and his sketch model of a seated figure of the same 
subject, sounded a new note, a more dignified self-containment and 
a deeper analysis of character than this sculptor had hitherto 
attempted. The completed statue, of heroic size, is a gratifying- 
success, and shows beyond its admirable workmanship a subtle 
union of kindliness and reserve which make it a convincing expres- 
sion of individuality. It was at the Sculpture Society's exhibition 
at Madison Square Garden, in November, 1902, however, that Mr. 
Bitter's deeper nature made most striking revelation of itself. His 
exhibit consisted of two figures to be placed over a doorway of 
the Chamber of Commerce of New York, fine plastic forms of great 
distinction, and — what concerns us more particularly at this point 

— two very original memorials. These works were not only beau- 
tifully modelled, as was to be expected, but had about them an 
atmosphere of poetic gravity and of pathos quite unfamiliar in Mr. 
Bitter's sculpture. The Villard Memorial (Fig. 81), the larger of the 
two, is in the form of a high relief, or, to be more exact, a figure in 



DECORATIVE SCULPTORS AND MEN OF FOREIGN BIRTH 461 



the round against a large and curiously decorated background. The 
figure is nude, a powerful, athletic young man reposing beside an 
anvil and grasping lightly the handle of a sledge-hammer. The 
head is thrown far back, the lips are parted, as with one who listens 
to distant music or who falls asleep. The whole attitude is one of 
complete relaxation after toil. Is it death, or sleep, or merely day- 
dreaming? The artist has been kind enough not to tell us. He 
has conveyed a part of 
his idea forcibly and 
without danger of er- 
ror ; he has left to us 
the privilege of sup- 
plying the rest, and 
thereby he has pre- 
served for us the 
poetry of his first in- 
spiration. 

A few feet away 
stood the Hubbard 
Memorial, inscribed 
" Thanatos." Again 
a seated figure lean- 
ing against a slab of 
stone, again the head 
thrown back, the lips 
parted. But here the 
resemblance ceases ; 
instead of a nude 
form, this figure of mysterious mien is amply clothed. Is it a 
weary mortal who draws the draperies of his couch about him, a 
panting soul that sweeps off the cerements of life, or a symbol of 
resurrection — a Lazarus who begs mutely to be " loosed " ? The 
breathlessness, the swaying arms, the grip of the hand, the press- 
ure of the feet, the tangle of the enveloping shroud give this 
figure another kind of impressiveness from the awful calm of Saint 
Gaudens's sibyl. Mr. Bitter's conception is less majestic, but has 
an intensity which grows upon one. This unknown being, wrapped 




81. 



- Bitter : Villard Memorial. 



462 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

in its mantle as in one of Vedder's swirls, this groping, unseeing 
creature, has in its make-up something of the ideal, of the large 
and the deep, by virtue of which it seems full of significance. The 
sculptor must have meant something by it. What its meaning, each 
must read for himself. 

Another man who has contributed much to the beautifying of 
our cities is J. Massey Rhind. While his work is largely architec- 
tural, and therefore in a measure foreign to the purpose of this book, 
he has done several monuments of importance, and not a few of his 
decorations rise above the level of commercial sculpture. 

Mr. Rhind is a Scotchman, and was born in Edinburgh. He 
comes of an artistic lineage, both his father and his grandfather 
having been sculptors, and his brothers still continuing the family 
tradition in the old country. The advantages of such early and 
familiar contact with the profession are easily demonstrable, and it 
is not surprising to find in Mr. Rhind's earliest works a facility of 
modelling which might well be the envy of veteran practitioners. 
Some of this skill was inherited, and much, no doubt, came from the 
sympathetic training of M. Dalou, the great French sculptor under 
whom he studied for several years in London and later in Paris. 
After two years in the latter city he returned to England, where he 
found immediately an abundance of work ; but seeking a larger field, 
he came to America in 1889, the same year that brought Karl Bitter. 

It was exactly the right moment. Up to that time there had 
been but little employment for the decorative sculptor in this coun- 
try ; but, with increasing wealth and the knowledge gained from much 
intercourse with Europe, a change was just then making itself manifest 
in the character of our buildings, both public and private. Besides, 
talents like those possessed by Mr. Rhind and Mr. Bitter create 
their own demand. It would be hard to estimate the value of the 
service of these men and of Mr. Martiny to this country. Within a 
few years their labors have elevated most incredibly the standard of 
architectural sculpture in our chief city and to a certain extent 
throughout the entire country. 

Like Mr. Bitter, Mr. Rhind found his first success in connection 
with the Astor memorial doors for Trinity Church. To him was 
awarded one of the three, on the strength of a beautifully modelled 



DECORATIVE SCULPTORS AND MEN OF FOREIGN BIRTH 463 

panel depicting the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. 
The work was carried through with painstaking enthusiasm and is 
recognized as a worthy companion to the Niehaus and Bitter por- 
tals. Next followed the unique memorial fountain in Albany erected 
in honor of Senator Rufus King. There may be mentioned also the 
decorations of the American Surety Company, Broadway and Pine 
Street, New York, where Mr. Rhind cooperated most happily with the 
architect, Mr. Bruce Price. The architects, with whom Mr. Rhind 
is deservedly popular, assert that no one knows better than he how 
to make sculpture an integral part of the whole design. Mr. Rhind 
has given this problem particular study, realizing that his own work 
gains by the harmony. An example of such felicitous union of 
structure and embellishment is found in the elaborate front of the 
Alexander Commencement Hall at Princeton, a work which occupied 
the sculptor some three years. 

Other noteworthy examples of Mr. Rhind's art are the bronze doors 
of the chapel of the General Theological Seminary in Chelsea Square, 
New York ; the " Henry Hudson," " Peter Stuyvesant," " General 
Wolfe," and " DeWitt Clinton," on the Exchange Court building, 
Broadway ; the " Corning Fountain " at Hartford, Connecticut ; a nude 
figure, " Progress lighting the Way of Commerce," upon the tower of 
the Montgomery Ward building in Chicago ; and, especially notewor- 
thy, the sculptural frieze of the Farmers Deposit National Bank of 
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He has also produced several statues of 
public men, among them a " Robert Burns " at Pittsburg, a gigantic 
" Calhoun " for the South, and portraits of Generals Grant and Sher- 
man at Muskegon, Michigan, of ex-Speaker David B. Henderson at 
Clermont, Iowa, of H. H. Houston in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, 
and of Stephen Girard, also at Philadelphia. The latter figure is one 
of more than ordinary interest, since it unites with pleasing technic 
an unusual incisiveness of characterization. 

Mr. Isidore Konti came to us, like Mr. Bitter, from Vienna, 
where he was born in 1862. His preliminary art education was 
acquired in the Imperial Academy of that city, where these two 
future Americans worked side by side. Later a fortunate scholar- 
ship enabled him to spend two more years in study in Italy. He 
came to this country in 1892, and worked on the sculpture for the 



464 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

World's Fair in Chicago, after which, settling in New York, he 
made a specialty of decorative sculpture for private and public 
buildings. 

Among these works are: a relief on the door of Grace Church, in 
East Fourteenth Street ; two spandrels on the Home Life Insurance 
building; the interior work in the residence of Elbridge T. Gerry; 
the group " West Indies " and the spandrels, the " North River" and 
" East River," for the Naval Arch ; and work for the Pan-American 
Exposition, consisting of four groups for the Temple of Music, — 
" Heroic Music," " Lyric Music," " Sacred Music," and " Dance 
Music," — a group, " The Despotic Age," for the esplanade, and 
different groups of playing children for the Court of Fountains and 
the Temple of Music. Among Mr. Konti's ideal works may be 
mentioned the figures, " Inspiration " and " Orpheus," the groups 
" Pan and Cupid," " Awakening of Spring," and a fountain symboliz- 
ing " The Brook." The last-named possesses an unusual charm and 
was one of the few works of pure ideality shown in the exhibition of 
the National Sculpture Society in 1902. Mr. Konti is always refined, 
but this coy figure is a veritable embodiment of sinuous grace. Care- 
fully studying from nature, the artist had nevertheless the exceeding 
good taste to " cover his tracks," eliminating all offensive realism, all 
accidents of the individual body, and permitting the figure to stand for 
just what it is, a beautifully sculptured form. The relation of the statue 
to its pedestal is delicately adjusted with a sense of line and propor- 
tion which cannot fail to give pleasure to every eye, and finally the 
plinth is decorated with what is perhaps the most artistic feature of 
the entire work, a high relief of swimming babies mixed up with a 
flotilla of formidable geese. The idea is sufficiently amusing, and 
the execution is delightful. The little plump bodies and the aggres- 
sive fowls are not pasted upon the plinth, but grow out of it, and 
the union is lost in subtle half-tones. From the crown of the fair 
Undine's pretty head to the water-line of the pedestal, the treatment 
of the fountain is consistently sculptural. It bespeaks the marble, 
and its realization in the ultimate material is assured, since the foun- 
tain was sold on the first day of the exhibition. 

It was Mr. Konti's work at the Pan-American Exposition, however, 
which first attracted particular attention. Though placed so high 



DECORATIVE SCULPTORS AND MEN OF FOREIGN BIRTH 465 

above the cornice of the Temple of Music and obscured by heavy gild- 
ing, his four groups of " Music " won for the poet-sculptor many friends. 
All were massive, but ingeniously composed of several figures in grace- 
ful attitudes. " Dance Music " showed a seated youth of lengthy 
limb playing the pipes for a maiden and child who danced. " Heroic 
Music " was conceived fitly in a large spirit, and represented blind 
Homer striking the lyre under the inspiration of a winged muse 
who floated serenely above him. Apollo with attendant figures is 
probably the most felicitous in arrangement, but " Sacred Music " 
(Fig. 82) gives a good idea of the sweetness and charm of Mr. Konti's 
imaginings. The upper figure is unfortunately cut off, and is criti- 
cised by the violinists as not holding her instrument according to 
any earthly method ; but the composition as a whole is admirable in 
line and in " color," while the sentiment which it breathes is rare 
indeed in public decorations of any kind. 

Then, as though to defend himself against any charge of effem- 
inacy, of over-sweetness, Mr. Konti proceeded to show in another 
more monumental work on the esplanade of the Exposition a different 
phase of his mental make-up. " The Despotic Age " was as forbid- 
ding in sentiment as were those other works delightful. It was just 
as good — perhaps better — sculpture, but it breathed a spirit of inex- 
orable domination. Unlike Mr. MacNeil's treatment of the same 
subject, this group showed no crowding, no confusion and tumult. 
Its very repression made it the more intense. The manner of execu- 
tion harmonized with the thought. There was power in the lines 
and a mute rigidity throughout. Heartless, unbending mastery 
was personified by a stern-visaged Caesar to whose chariot were 
yoked three humble captives. A winged fury lashed the trem- 
bling forms ; the monarch saw them not, nor heeded the plaints of 
others chained to the chariot's tail. The conception was most 
dramatic, and the group received much applause from Mr. Konti's 
colleagues. 

A sculptor whose refined art deserves a wider fame than has 
come to it is Henry Linder of New York. With a graceful and 
sometimes whimsical fancy, he imparts to all that he does a peculiar 
charm, distinctly his own, and of genuinely decorative quality. 
Whatever he makes, from andirons to sweet-faced Madonnas, bears 

2H 



466 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

the stamp of his intensely personal point of view ; though expressed 
with all sorts of captivating circumlocutions and elaborations, it arrives 
without fail at a very definite decorative effect. His dainty little 
busts, the sitting figure, " Music," and " Spring," a project for a 
small fountain, seen some years ago at one of the exhibitions of the 
National Sculpture Society, were among the choicest things there, 




Fig. 82. — Konti: Sacred Music, Pan-American Exposition. 

showing not only invention, but a fine sense of sculptural proprieties. 
Another German, Rudolph Schwarz, now settled in Indianapolis, 
does work of a very different character. Though a comparatively 
recent arrival, he has devoted himself to the creation of American 
soldiers. The groups which he has added to the Indiana State 
Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument are picturesque and spirited. Mr. 
Schwarz won in 1902 the competition for a statue of Governor Pin- 
gree of Michigan, for Detroit. He is also to be represented in the 
decorations of the St. Louis Exposition. 



DECORATIVE SCULPTORS AND MEN OF FOREIGN BIRTH 467 

Other sculptors of foreign birth who, if not exactly making his- 
tory, are doing their share toward commemorating it, are Louis 
Amateis and George Zolnay. Their realistic military figures are to 
be seen in many places, particularly in the South, where they are 
most popular. Professor Amateis — of the Columbian University, 
Washington, D.C. — will be remembered as the designer of the 
monument to the defenders of the Alamo, in Austin, Texas, of a 
large military memorial at Galveston, Texas, and of the group 
" El Caney," at the Pan-American Exposition. Mr. Zolnay 's name 
is associated with the statue of Jefferson Davis and with the 
graceful angel which bends over the tomb of Miss Winnie Davis in 
Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia. 

Messrs. Fjelde, Rohl-Smith, and Gelert have ably represented the 
land of Thorwaldsen in our artistic Congress of Nations. Of these 
three only John Gelert remains. Mr. Jakob Fjelde was identified 
with Minneapolis, but died before opportunity came for notable 
achievement. Mr. Carl Rohl-Smith practised his art successfully 
in Louisville, Chicago, and Washington. His poorly paid Soldiers' 
Monument at Des Moines, Iowa, is a gravely grotesque design 
which was dictated to him by a committee, and his share in it was 
a long-drawn-out martyrdom, unfortunately perpetuated in bronze. 
His striking group commemorative of the Fort Dearborn massa- 
cre stands in Chicago upon the scene of the bloody event; but 
his last undertaking, the important Sherman statue, in Washing- 
ton, was destined to be completed by other hands than his own. 
It is one of the ironies of fate, that after such hard-fought battles 
he should have fallen just as victory was in sight. Mr. Gelert 's con- 
tributions have been largely in the form of architectural adjuncts, 
as seen at the various expositions. Though he was kept busy for 
several years in Chicago, peopling parks and squares with Old 
World celebrities, he has also been prolific in imaginative works. 
Doubtless the most spontaneous and charming of these was that 
early group of two nude children playing in the sandj christened 
" The Little Architects." This pleasing marble has won plaudits 
and prizes in not a few exhibitions. Other conceptions of a graver 
nature are, "Thor wrestling with a Bull," "The Struggle for Work," 
and " Resurrection." 



468 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

A young Scandinavian whose work gives promise of being inter- 
esting is Hendrick Christian Andersen. His first bust, " The Con- 
cierge's Daughter," an essay in tinted sculpture, has a quaint charm 
which has been highly appreciated. Mr. Andersen has done a number 
of portraits, two groups, " Serenity " and " Fellowship," and a strange 
equestrian statue, executed apparently without models. 1 

Among the best-known of the many clever Italians who ply 
their traditional arts in America is the house of Piccirilli, a family of 
sculptors and marble-cutters who lead in modern New York the life 
of a Florentine household of the Quattrocento. The great dining 
room of the establishment is like an old-time refectory, where five 
stalwart sons with their wives and children gather around a kindly, 
keen-eyed patriarch. In the large studios adjoining much work is 
completed in marble for various American sculptors ; but one of the 
sons, Attilio Piccirilli, is already well known in the profession as 
the successful competitor for the monument to the dead soldiers and 
sailors of the Maine, which promises to be one of our best military 
memorials. Mr. Piccirilli has done several well-modelled and exqui 
sitely carved figures, like the " Young Faun " and the " Dancin 
Faun," which brought him a silver medal at the Pan-American. A 
younger brother, Furio, has also exhibited a relief portrait of a sister, 
carved with much delicacy. 

A newcomer, Vicenzo Alfano, a Neapolitan, displayed at the 
exhibition of the Sculpture Society of 1902 a fascinating little work 
" Tout danse devant le Grand Perturbateur." The signature was 
hardly necessary to demonstrate that it was from a foreign hand. No 
sculptor of American birth has yet attained to the " chic " and dainty 
charm of that fantastic relief, in which humanity is shown brought 
captive and dancing for the amusement of mischievous, all-powerful 
King Eros. Unlike Mr. Alfano's " Cicerone," also shown at the same 
exhibition, this panel made no pretence to monumental gravity, but 
in both design and execution it was a chef d'ceuvre of grace. 

Other names of foreign flavor on the roll of the National Sculp- 
ture Society or in the catalogues of recent exhibitions, are those of 
Henry Baerer, Theodor Bauer, Gutzon Borglum ; Caspar Buberl 

1 "A New Sculptor," by Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer, in Century Magazine, Vol. LXI, 
p. 17. 



DECORATIVE SCULPTORS AND MEN OF FOREIGN BIRTH 469 

(deceased) ; Victor A. Ciani ; Louis A. Gudebrod, director of sculp- 
ture at the Charleston exhibition; Charles F. Hamann; Albert 
Jaegers, author of many clever reliefs and excellent busts ; Fred- 
eric R. Kaldenberg, Paul N. Lachenmeyer, Oscar Lenz, Herman 
Matzen, Max Mauch, Kasper Mayer, Fernando Miranda, Domingo 
Mora, Giuseppe Moretti, Maximilian Schwarzott ; Joseph Sibbel, 
sculptor of ecclesiastical statuary; Michael Tonetti, who, aided by 
his wife, — formerly Miss Mary Lawrence, — made the groups, 
" Birth of Venus " and " Birth of Athena," at the Pan-American 
Exposition ; Gaetano Trentanove ; Albert Weinert, who modelled 
the group of General Johnson and King Hendrick, in the State 
Park at Lake George, New York ; and Emil Wuertz, whose career 
was cut short by his untimely death at sea in the tragedy of the 
Bourgogne. 



CHAPTER XXV 

SCULPTORS OF ANIMALS 

In a country as rich in native fauna as the United States it would 
be strange indeed if a certain number of men should not combine the 
instincts of the hunter with some form of artistic expression. Such 
has been the case, and America's group of animal sculptors is worthy 
of more than passing notice. Aside from the many who have under- 
taken equestrian statues with varying degrees of success, at least a 
half-dozen men have shown remarkable aptitude in a more varied 
field. These are Edward Kemeys, Edward C. Potter, A. Phimister 
Proctor, Solon H. Borglum, Eli Harvey, and Henry M. Shrady. 
Paul Bartlett also has done work which puts him in the front rank 
of our sculptors of animals. 

Mr. Kemeys leads the list, not only chronologically, but by virtue 
of his achievements. No American has done more to record the 
life of mountain and plain, and his works have justly enjoyed a 
great popularity. He was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1843. 
His parents, who were Northerners, removed soon after to New 
York City, where he received his education. His natural gift for 
art was not at first granted an opportunity to develop, and on leav- 
ing school he went to work in the iron business. This he relin- 
quished at the outbreak of the Civil War, to enlist in the Federal 
army, and while hostilities continued he saw constant duty. His 
intelligent service was rewarded by successive promotions, bringing 
him ultimately to the rank of captain of artillery. He took part in 
the engagements before Richmond in 1S62. At the close of the 
war he was employed on the civil engineering corps of Central Park, 
New York, and while there made his debut as a sculptor. He made 
a specialty of Indians and American wild animals, spending much 
time in the West studying them from life. In 1S78 he exhibited at 

470 



SCULPTORS OF ANIMALS 



471 




Fig. 83. — Kemeys: Panther and Cubs. 



the Paris Salon his group, " Bison and Wolves." Returning to New 
York the following year, he produced in rapid succession his well- 
known works: the "Still Hunt," in Central Park, New York; the 
"Wolves," Fairmount Park, Philadelphia; "Panther and Deer," 
"Raven and Coyote." In 1887 he modelled the colossal head of a 
bison for the new Omaha Bridge of the Union Pacific Railroad. In 
1892 he went to Chicago, executing there a number of large groups 
for the Columbian Exposition. During his residence of eight years 
in Chicago he modelled the large bronze lions in front of the Chicago 
Art Institute building, an Indian figure for Champaign, Illinois, and 
numerous small bronzes for private collections. 

Self-trained as he is and indifferent to the methods of other men, 
Mr. Kemeys makes no pretence of clever technic. One scrutinizes 
his work in vain for those passages of beautiful modelling which form 
the secondary charm of Barye's little masterpieces. He seems to 
have found a fierce pleasure in giving us the bare facts, and in stop- 
ping abruptly when his story is told. He loses much thereby, since 
his interpretations of nature do not always win one back in search 
of new discoveries ; but, on the other hand, this summary, impres- 
sionistic treatment has its own particular appeal. It conveys with 



472 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

an element of rugged forcefulness a sense of movement which 
none hut a master can express by means of careful modelling. 
Mr. Kemeys knows his subjects thoroughly — one is almost tempted 
to say instinctively. He has studied them alive and dead, and has 
dissected every kind of four-footed creature. He is too much the ar- 
tist, however, too intense a lover of life, to sacrifice, even to science, 
the larger truth. Hence he has avoided that danger which Ruskin 
points out, of "substituting in our thoughts the neatness of mechani- 
cal contrivance for the pleasure of the animal." " The moment," con- 
tinues Mr. Ruskin, "we reduce enjoyment to ingenuity and volition 
to leverage, that instant all sense of beauty ceases." This mistake 
Mr. Kemeys has never made. It is safe to say that no American 
artist has more truly epitomized the spirit of the animal. Particu- 
larly in rendering the moods of creatures of the cat tribe is he almost 
epigrammatic (Fig. S3), while his bears, their "vast limbs crooked 
with power," are in more senses than one irresistible, whether pic- 
tured in the serious occupations of their existence, or enlivened with 
that " touch of terrific corned)- " which they take on so readily. 

In a most appreciative article, written as long ago as 18S4, 
Mr. Julian Hawthorne expressed admirably the significance of Mr. 
Kemevs's art, in which one finds, " not merely, nor chiefly, the accu- 
rate representation of the animal's external aspect, but what is vastly 
more difficult to seize and portray — the essential animal character 
or temperament which controls and actuates the animal's move- 
ments and behavior. Each one of Mr. Kemeys's figures gives not 
only the form and proportions of the animal according to the nicest 
anatomical studies and measurements, but is the speaking embodi- 
ment of profound insight into that animal's nature, and knowledge 
of its habits. . . . Here is an artist who understands how to trans- 
late pose into meaning, and action into utterance, and to select those 
poses and actions which convey the broadest and most compre- 
hensive idea of the subject's prevailing traits." 1 If we put our- 
selves back in the time when this was written, eliminating all that 
has been done in American sculpture since that year, we can begin 
to realize how much Mr. Kemeys's sturdy art has meant in the 
national evolution. Apparently, outside of equestrian statues, 

1 ■• American Wild Animals in Art."' Century Magazine, Vol. VI. p. 214. 



SCULPTORS OF ANIMALS 473 

there is record of just two native animals sculptured in the United 
States before Mr. Kemeys began his work, the one being the panther 
in Henry K. Brown's early group, the " Indian and Panther," and 
the other the dog which Mr. Brown's pupil, J. O. A. Ward, modelled, 
some years later, as a travelling companion for his " Indian Hunter." 
Hence Mr. Kemeys's contribution has not only the twofold value of 




Fig. 84. — Potter: Farm Horse, Columbian Exposition. 

its own intrinsic worth and of historical record, preserving, as Mr. 
Hawthorne says, in permanent and beautiful form the vivid figures 
of a wild fauna which is destined within a few years to vanish alto- 
gether, but it has a third significance of perhaps greater import than 
either of these in the slow unfolding of a national art : he was one 
of the first to see and appreciate the immediate world about him, to 
recognize the artistic possibilities of our own land and time. By 
this keen intuition and the use he has made of it Mr. Kemeys has 
shown himself a true artist. 



474 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

It is probable that no American sculptor knows the horse quite 
so well, structurally, as does Mr. Edward C. Potter. Several have 
shown great aptitude for equestrian statuary: Brown, Ward, Saint 
Gaudens, MacMonnies, and Niehaus — to name but a few of the 
successful designers of large works ; but most experienced of all 
in this particular field is Mr. French's old-time pupil and all-time 
colleague. 

Mr. Potter's first prominence was due to his collaborations with 
Mr. French at Chicago in 1893, where their Columbus Quadriga 
and other groups were among the most admired of the many deco- 
rations. No more beautiful quadriga has been sculptured in mod- 
ern times than the imposing group called the " Apotheosis of 
Columbus," which crowned the great colonnade misnamed the 
" Peristyle." The noble horses were led, two and two, by maid- 
ens whose flying draperies contributed movement and color, while 
the decorative effect, as well as the originality of the work, was 
accentuated by youthful standard-bearers, who served as outriders. 
In these latter features Mr. Potter showed his ability with the human 
figure as well as with the horse ; the picturesque little squires rode 
well and had genuine charm. However, to most visitors the colos- 
sal quadriga, lifted sixty feet in the eastern sky, was but an " effect," 
— a small fraction of vaster effects which bewildered the eyes from 
all sides. Far more intimate and more readily appreciated were the 
great four-footed creatures which, with their attendant figures, formed 
the immediate decorations of the lagoon within the Court of 
Honor (Fig. 84). Here were draught horses of massive build and 
oxen of tremendous girth, sculptured as such animals never had 
been done before in this country. The accompanying figures, rep- 
resenting a farmer, a negro teamster, an Indian woman, and a 
classical version of America, were the work of Mr. French, and it 
may be said that two men have seldom joined forces more harmo- 
niously for a common artistic result. The evident truth of these im- 
posing groups, coupled with their simplicity and dignity, made them 
great favorites. The surging crowds may not have realized how 
good they were as sculpture, but their intrinsic beauty appealed to all. 

Since the days of the World's Fair Mr. Potter has been kept 
busy, most of the time in collaboration with Mr. French. Their 



SCULPTORS OF ANIMALS 475 

" General Grant " in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, their " Washing- 
ton "(Fig. 48), in Paris and Chicago, and their " General Hooker" in 
Boston have been described elsewhere. Mr. Potter has not re- 
stricted himself, however, to animal sculpture nor to partnership 
enterprises. His delightful little "Sleeping Faun" (Fig. 85) is in 
the Art Institute of Chicago. A well-conceivecl " Fulton " bears his 
signature in the circle of bronze dignitaries of the Congressional 
Library dome, and his "Governor Blair" of Michigan stands in 
admirable repose before the state Capitol at Lansing, a model of 
sober portraiture, on a pedestal no less deserving of mention. Mr. 
Potter's equestrian statue of General Slocum on the battlefield of 
Gettysburg, appearing coincidently with Mr. MacMonnies's inter- 
pretation of the same commander, serves to illustrate the different 
points of view of two skilful men. Mr. Potter's " General Slocum" 
is considered a striking portrait. The soldier sits at rest on his 
charger in an easy, well-poised attitude, both horse and rider being 
quiet but alert, as if awaiting the moment of action. There is no 
more impressive sculpture upon the famous battlefield. 

Among the gifted men who found their way to Chicago during 
the busy days of the building of the World's Fair was Mr. Phimister 
Proctor, who was at that time quite unknown to fame. Full of 
enthusiasm, he did his best and won prompt recognition, which led 
to his sharing with Hermon A. MacNeil the initial scholarship of 
the Rinehart fund. This scholarship, which was at first supposed to 
represent a single year's stay abroad, proved to be for an indetermi- 
nate period, and the one year was lengthened into a second and then 
into two more, since which time Mr. Proctor has followed his pro- 
fession in New York. 

Mr. Proctor's father is a Highland Scotchman and his mother a 
native of New York State. Their son was born in Ontario, Canada, 
in 1862. He had reached the age of five when the family removed 
to Des Moines, Iowa, where they remained for several years. Like 
many another, the future artist showed his bent and ability while 
still a mere child. There in Des Moines, almost without guidance, 
he began drawing and made his earliest essays in modelling. From 
the first he had a definite idea of becoming an artist. The removal 
of his family to Denver gave the deciding impetus to his life. Here 



476 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 




he had his first opportunity of climbing the mountains and seeing 
wild animals in their rocky fastnesses. This life had a wonderful 
attraction for him, and many a day did he spend in hunting and in 
making studies of animals, living and dead. Practice soon developed 
him into a good marksman. He was thirteen years of age when 
he killed his first deer, but the great day of his youth was when, at 
sixteen, while hunting entirely alone, he encountered and despatched 
successively a large grizzly bear and a bull elk. This was enough 
to give him great local renown, as well as to confirm his passion 

for the chase. With his rifle 
and his no less inseparable 
sketch-book, he spent all of his 
vacations in these profitable 
wanderings. For weeks at a 
time he would lose himself in 
the forests and amid the peaks 
of the Rockies, seeing no hu- 
man being, but driven out by 
a wild enthusiasm and learn- 
ing by heart the mountains' 
No place in the world has to him quite the attraction of 
those scenes of his youth. In Chicago, in New York, and even in 
Paris, he is ever sighing for his " happy hunting-grounds." 

In 1887 Mr. Proctor had made so much advance in his art that 
he realized his need of better training. He believed then, as now, that 
in order to model wild animals one must study them in their native 
haunts, but he also appreciated the fact that no great artist was ever 
entirely "self-made." There is too much to learn, and even genius 
needs guidance. Happily the way was open. There was a conven- 
ient ranch to sell, and also an interest in a mine. With the proceeds 
Mr. Proctor went to New York and was speedily enrolled in the 
classes of the National Academy of Design. Here, and later in the 
Art Students' League, he worked with an earnestness which won 
the respect of comrades and teachers alike. It was the huntsman's 
ardor harnessed down and concentrated. The keen eye and ready 
hand with which " grizzly " and cougar had coped in vain were equal 
to the new task. 



Fig. 85. — Potter: Sleeping Faun, 



Art Institute, Chicago. 



fauna. 



SCULPTORS OF ANIMALS 477 

It was the Columbian Exposition which brought Mr. Proctor into 
prominence. His excellent training had been just in time. How 
well he executed the important decorations intrusted to him will be 
long remembered. Few things, indeed, in the entire Exposition were 
more interesting and impressive than those great motionless creatures, 
the native American animals as sculptured by Proctor and Kemeys. 
After the close of the World's Fair Mr. Proctor moved to New York, 
where he did a number of fascinating little bronzes. His time, how- 
ever, was largely taken up in work for other sculptors, the horse for 
Saint Gaudens's " Logan " being in great part the young sculptor's 
production. 

Then came the unexpected and very nattering award of the Rine- 
hart scholarship, and the voyage to Europe. While Mr. Mac Neil was 
sent to Rome, Mr. Proctor elected to go to Paris, where he remained 
for five years studying, not with an " animalist," as might have been 
expected, but with Puech and Injalbert. Mr. Proctor knew exactly 
what he needed. It was not animal structure and comparative 
anatomy as taught at the Jardin des Plantes, but the charm and 
variety of technic, which these other men have at their finger-tips. 
Moreover, Mr. Proctor had no idea of being classified as merely 
a sculptor of animals. He has never failed to " decorate " his groups 
with human figures whenever possible, sometimes with problematic 
success, it must be acknowledged, but later with an easy mastery 
born of sincere and intelligent study. 

The "Indian Warrior" (Fig. S6) proves that he is now fully 
equal to the difficult problem of the human body. This admirable 
group is the most important of the small bronzes which he has given 
us. His " Bison " shows evidence of the sculptor's close observation 
and acute sense of the animal character. Contrasting with it is his 
timid " Fawn " — a product of the World's Fair period — and dis- 
tinctly humorous is his jolly little bear frightened by the sudden appa- 
rition of a tiny, long-eared rabbit. These last two, though so small, 
are really distinguished in their expressive workmanship. The " Strid- 
ing Panther" (Fig. 87) is a powerful work, which reveals throughout 
its sinuous length the knowledge and research of its creator. 

Mr. Proctor ended his term of scholarship rather abruptly in 
order to undertake an important though ephemeral work, that of the 



478 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

great quadriga which crowned the portico of the United States 
pavilion at the Paris Exposition of 1900. The subject chosen was 
" The Goddess of Liberty on the Chariot of Progress." Of course it 
did not make very much difference what the name of the figure was, 
so that she looked stately and that her steeds were picturesque and 
fiery ! All of this was admirably accomplished. It is not easy to make 
anything very original out of a quadriga, but Mr. Proctor succeeded 
in varying the well-worn theme with figures of running youths 
on either side of his rampant horses. This offered a novel and 
decorative silhouette and, above all, was full of life and motion. The 
effect from the river was very fine, and likewise from the Pont des 
Invalides, as far as it could be seen ; but it may be remembered that 
just as one approached near enough to enjoy the details an imperti- 
nent projection of the Turkish building shut off the view. The 
group was counted so successful that it was brought to this country 
and happily employed — four times over — in the decoration of the 
pediments of the Ethnological building at Buffalo. 

The American exhibit of sculpture at the Paris Exposition of 1900 
was in evidence from the moment one walked through that singular 
main entrance on the Place de la Concorde. For there, keeping 
guard at the gate, stood the outposts of Mr. Proctor's menagerie, his 
well-known panthers, of Prospect Park, Brooklyn. These great crea- 
tures stand with heads high lifted and are almost Egyptian in their 
impressiveness. In them the sculptor has done justice to one of our 
most beautiful quadrupeds, while the increase in size adds majesty to 
grace. The strangeness of the pose gives one a little shock at 
first, as do all artistic treatments which are " original " ; but we are 
speedily converted to the sculptor's way of thinking. These mighty 
felines of the uplifted heads give another proof of Mr. Proctor's 
thorough knowledge of his subject, for he tells us that the attitude 
is one which he has often seen the wild animal take when startled. 
One cannot but feel a real gratitude for these new contributions 
to American art, contributions as novel and personal as they are 
powerful. 

An interesting member of this group of nature worshippers is 
Mr. Solon H. Borglum, a genuine product of the West, who unites 
in his creations the untamed freedom of the frontier with the tender- 




FIG. 86. — PROCTOR: INDIAN WARRIOR. 



SCULPTORS OF ANIMALS 48 1 

ness of a true artist. Mr. Borglum's groups have sometimes the 
accidental look of fragments of rock or of twisted ingots of melted 
metal, but they are sure to reveal somewhere the caressing touches 
of a trained and intelligent hand. They are a new and enthusiastic 
manifestation of the myriad-sided life of this vast country, significant 
and important, and couched in terms so sculptural as to seem at first 
uncouth, yet having by birthright more of nature and more of art 
than it is often given to a sculptor to put into similar efforts. 

Born in Ogden, Utah, in 1868, — the son of a one-time wood- 
carver of Denmark, transformed into an American physician, — Mr. 
Borglum's youth was spent in the neighborhood of Fremont, Ne- 
braska, where his father's practice led him over a wide stretch of 
prairie country among scattered whites and Indian villages. Thus 
in these long excursions which he often shared, and later in the 
more serious business of a cattle ranch, the boy's life was spent 
largely in the saddle; his schooling was that of the great "out 
doors." When a mere child he was as much at home on his pony 
as most boys are on their feet, and could throw the lasso with skill. 
He was " an integral part of the rough life around him," but yet 
an artist at heart. The visit of an elder brother, a painter of some 
prominence, turned his thoughts in the direction of his future un- 
known work, but he was already twenty-six years of age when this 
suggestion suddenly appealed to him with irresistible force. With- 
out instruction he had drawn a little, as the work of the ranch per- 
mitted, his favorite subjects being the cattle and horses about him — 
the principal features of life in that part of the world. He sold his 
ranch, and, instead of going east, rather oddly drifted westward to the 
home of another brother in the Sierra Madre Mountains of California. 
Later he painted a portrait, and studied horses on a ranch near Los 
Angeles, then opened a " studio " in Santa Ana, where he taught 
painting one day in each week, roaming the mountains the rest of 
the time. Later it occurred to him to seek an art school, and arriv- 
ing in Cincinnati, in the autumn of 1895, with a capital of $64, 
an oil stove, and a blanket, he established himself for study. The 
little room which he hired was like a prison to him, but he found 
light and air in a large livery stable near by, and there he spent most 
of his time outside of school hours. His work in the drawing classes 
2 1 



482 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

of the Museum school was faithful ; that in the stable was more rapid 
and enthusiastic, for he modelled there a statuette of a horse pawing 
a dead companion, supposably lying on the plains, which won him a 
special prize. The following year a scholarship and prize were easily 
won by his unique display of seventeen different studies of horses, 
and in 1897 he was enabled to go to Paris. However homesick the 




Fig. 87. — Proctor : Striding Panther. 

traveller may be in a foreign land, equine language is everywhere 
the same, and Mr. Borglum solaced his lonely hours with a study, 
" Lassoing Wild Horses," which he made in one of the large stables 
of the city- This group and another horse formed his exhibit at the 
Salon. The following year he undertook his most ambitious work, 
a large group, " Stampede of Wild Horses," which, with " The Lame 
Horse," brought him an honorable mention at the Salon of 1899, and 
was afterward placed in the centre of the United States pavilion at 
the Paris Exposition of 1900, where his work brought him a silver 
medal. A similar recompense was his at Buffalo in 1901 for a re- 
markable exhibit of twelve little bronzes and marbles, including the 
two herewith illustrated. 

It cannot be claimed that all of Mr. Borglum's ideas are as 
artistic as these here presented. He is not infallible in his intui- 
tions ; several of his groups show a mistaken effort to depict rapid 
motion, and some are' far from beautiful in line or composition. But 
all have significance ; all have a rude primitive strength and a kind 
of impressionistic generalization which subordinates details to the 
intense expression of the artist's one thought. In such work as 
"The Last Round-up," "Our Slave," and "On the Border of 
White Man's Land " (Fig. 88), Mr. Borglum has hit upon a very 
large and impressive treatment which is distinctly sculptural in 



SCULPTORS OF ANIMALS 483 

its inspiration ; while in the tiny " Burial on the Plains " (Fig. 89) 
there is a mysterious emotional note which has been touched by 
few indeed of our sculptors, a sentiment that might easily have 
been dissipated by a more insistent technic. Mr. Borglum's work 
is only begun, but it gives promise of a new and virile interpretation 
of the magnificent " epic of the West " ; of an art of national flavor, 
yet distinctly individual, which will be enjoyed long after the cow- 
boys have followed the wild red men over the " long trail " into the 
dim land of legend and song. 

In the nature of things the lives of our sculptors of animals have 
been more varied and picturesque than those of most men of the 
profession ; the large number of these specialists are Westerners by 
birth or adoption, and many are still comparatively young men. The 
youngest, however, of the group, a man of thirty-two years, has never 
been a hunter nor even visited the " high country," has had no train- 
ing outside of the " Zoo," nor even a struggle for recognition ; yet his 
life offers the most dramatic career of them all. Mr. Henry M. 
Shrady, who recently won the government competition for the 
$250,000 monument at Washington, was in 1899 an employe of 
the Central Match Company of New York, without thought of be- 
coming a sculptor. Born in 1871, the son of a physician of artistic 
bent, the young man's life was that of the well-to-do ; his preparation 
for a business career was completed by a college course at Colum- 
bia University, where he graduated in 1S94. His office work 
allowed him some leisure, and on his way home afternoons he 
had a habit of stopping before a fancier's window and making 
sketches in a note-book of the dogs and cats he saw there. He 
also taught himself to paint, and a portrait of a fox-terrier, sub- 
mitted without his knowledge, was accepted and hung at an exhi- 
bition of the National Academy of Design. Turning to modelling 
and working from memory of his saddle horse, Mr. Shrady next 
constructed his panoramic little group of " Artillery going into 
Action," an ingenious work composed of six horses and as many 
soldiers in spirited movement. This first attempt found favor in 
the eyes of a dealer in Russian bronzes, who reproduced it and 
suggested further work to the amateur sculptor for their mutual 
benefit. Two small bronzes, a " Moose " and a " Buffalo," the result 



484 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

of numerous visits to the Zoological Garden in Bronx Park, 
attracted the attention of Mr. Karl Bitter, who proposed their 
enlargement for the Pan-American Exhibition at Buffalo. The 
older sculptor offered Mr. Shrady a part of his studio, and helped 
him over the difficulties of an unknown process so effectively that 
the two animals, nine and eight feet high, were completed in staff in 
six weeks. They were counted very successful, and were reproduced 
several times for the embellishment of various bridges on the Exposi- 
tion grounds. 

Meantime Mr. Shrady's later effort, " The Empty Saddle," had 
attracted attention, and on the strength of it he was invited to par- 
ticipate in a competition for a statue of Washington for Brooklyn. 
Mr. Shrady's model was the successful one. The statue is good 
sculpture though tending toward the picturesque. It is a question 
whether an accidental effect suggestive of wintry blasts is not better 
suited to a statuette than to a work of monumental importance. 
" Washington at Valley Forge," wrapped in a storm-swept overcoat, 
would have its local significance if placed on the site of the historic 
camping-ground, but it is rather too specific to give the larger view 
of the great general. One cannot help thinking that there will be 
certain days in July and August when the shivering hero will be 
something of a solecism. But this is not the sculptor's fault; he has 
produced an admirable version of the allotted theme, a model of 
broad, simple handling, in which the subject dominates its every part. 

Apparently it was written that this sane, industrious young man 
should know nothing but success, though attempting the most auda- 
cious and improbable things. He now entered seriously the compe- 
tition for the Grant monument to be erected opposite the White 
House, the most expensive sculptural work which the government 
has thus far undertaken. Mr. Shradv stood first in the preliminary 
test, and was invited, with Mr. Niehaus, to enlarge his model for 
further consideration. In the end his design — made in collaboration 
with Mr. Edward Pearce Casey, architect — was accepted with 
enthusiasm, not only by the military men, but by the sculptors, 
Messrs. Saint Gaudens and French, who were consulted by the 
monument commission. So far as one can judge from the repro- 
ductions, their choice will give popular satisfaction. If Mr. Shrady 



SCULPTORS OF ANIMALS 



4§5 




Fig. 88. — Borglum: On the Border of White Man's Land. 

succeeds in preserving in the larger work the monumental qualities 
of his study (the repose and unconventionality of his Grant, who sits 
his vigorous steed as if reviewing an endless column of troops) he 
will achieve a notable triumph. The long stone terrace from which 
the massive pedestal rises is actually to be employed as a reviewing 
stand, and there is something which appeals to one's imagination in 
the thought of that towering effigy presiding on such occasions. 
Large pedestals at either end of the terrace will support colossal 
groups, showing cavalry and artillery in action. Here again Mr. 
Shrady will confront certain of the most difficult problems in sculp- 
ture. In his sketch model of " Artillery coming to a Halt," he has 
chosen the best possible moment, and avoided with fine taste the two 
pitfalls of bald realism and unintelligible generalization. The evolu- 
tion of this important work will be watched with keen interest. 

Mr. Eli Harvey devotes himself almost exclusively to animals 
of the cat tribe. His " Rampant Jaguar," modelled at the Jardin 



486 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

des Plantes in Paris, was seen at the Salon of 1898 and later at 
the Pan-American Exposition, where the sculptor exhibited also a 
" Lion Roaring," " Lion Cubs," and bas-reliefs. At the exhibit of 
the National Sculpture Society of 1902 Mr. Harvey was represented 
by certain of the foregoing, and still more prominently by two " Sen- 
tinel Lions," adaptations for architectural purposes. Mr. Harvey 
was born in Ogden, Ohio, in i860, and studied at the Cincinnati 
Museum and later with Fremiet. 

An attempt to classify our American sculptors is difficult 
and must appear somewhat arbitrary. Most of these animal 
sculptors are well-trained modellers of the human figure, and they 
are put here merely because of distinguished success in a more lim- 
ited field. Mr. H. K. Bush-Brown practises all forms of sculpture, 
being as well known for his decorations as for his portraits ; but so 
decided is his penchant for animal sculpture, so conspicuous his 
superiority in this department — perhaps a taste derived from his 
uncle, Henry Kirke Brown — that he may well be considered in this 
chapter. He was born in Ogdensburg, New York, in 1857, and edu- 
cated at Suglar's School, Newburgh, New York. He studied draw- 
ing at the National Academy of Design, and modelling with his 
sculptor-uncle, after which he spent the years from 18S6 to 1890 in 
Paris and Italy. He first made himself known to the larger public 
through his group, "The Buffalo Hunt," exhibited at the Columbian 
Exposition. This was a realistic representation of one of the trage- 
dies of the plains, and showed, not only a precise knowledge of the 
two — or shall we not say, three — animals involved, but a consider- 
able amount of creative energy and sustained effort. Less picturesque 
and illustrative and more sculptural are Mr. Bush-Brown's later 
works : his equestrian statues of General George S. Meade and of 
General John F. Reynolds, both at Gettysburg. As to the thorough- 
ness of the sculptor's knowledge of animal anatomy and his mastery 
of technic, photographs are insufficient data; but these figures show 
satisfactory proportions and significant attitudes, while the " General 
Meade," at least, has an air of distinction and of monumental dignity. 
Our country offers few equestrian statues more happily conceived 
than this of the quiet, resourceful commander. Other works from this 
artist's hands are: a statue of Justinian on the Appellate Court build- 



SCULPTORS OF ANIMALS 



487 



ing, New York; "Commander Hall," on the Naval Arch; a group 
representing " Truth," at the Pan-American Exposition ; a large 
memorial tablet for the Union League Club of Philadelphia (a bronze 
relief some eight by twelve feet in size, showing the departure of the 
troops presided over by a winged figure) ; sculptural decorations 
for the Court of Records, New York ; and many busts and reliefs. 
Mr. Bush-Brown has also done good service in the cause of munici- 
pal art, having written 
and lectured frequently 
upon this and kindred 
subjects. 

Many others have 
made interesting; excur- 
sions into the field of 
animal sculpture. One 
of the most gifted of the 
number is Mr. Frederick 
G. Roth, whose work at 
the Pan-American Expo- 
sition attracted much fav- 
orable notice. Mr. Roth 
is a young man, born in 
Brooklyn in 1872. He 
enjoyed the somewhat ex- 
ceptional advantages of 
Vienna, having studied 
there for a time with 
Professor Hellmer. His Fig. 89.- Borglum: Burial on the Plains. 

contribution to the art exhibit proper at Buffalo was slight, con- 
sisting merely of his ingenious little bronze of the " Elephant and 
Trainer." He was represented on the grounds, however, by three 
groups of excellent craftsmanship: " Resting Buffaloes," " Stallion and 
Groom," and, more notably, by that unusual work so readily recalled, 
the " Roman Chariot Race," a quadriga in violent motion, the flying 
steeds swinging around the sharp curve of the "meta," the chariot 
wheels in the air. Whether so tumultuous a motive is a fit theme 
for sculpture is a question apart ; it is certain that Mr. Roth handled 




488 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

the problem in a masterful way and produced a result that, from 
many points of view, was interesting and even impressive. From a 
man of such originality and technical skill much may be expected. 
Mr. Roth is at present engaged, like so many of the younger men, 
upon decorative groups for the St. Louis Exposition. 

Mr. Frederic Remington has also been tempted to carry certain of 
his illustrations over into another medium, and it must be confessed 
that, while they remain illustrations, this clever artist seems as 
much at home in one form of expression as in the other. Mr. 
Remington is not an interpreter, nor is he likely ever to conceive 
a theme sculpturally ; but his clashing compositions not only picture 
with much skill the machinery and paraphernalia of four-footed loco- 
motion, but occasionally suggest somewhat of the spirit of the 
centaur life of the West. His "Broncho Buster" and "Wounded 
Bunkie" were exhibited at the Pan-American Exposition. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

PRESENT-DAY SCULPTORS OF BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA 

The withdrawal of Thomas Ball from Boston, in 1865, made way 
for his young pupil, Martin Milmore, whose early death left the 
field in turn to the versatile Dr. Rimmer and Truman H. Bartlett. 
Neither of these interesting men made large contribution to monu- 
mental sculpture, but both did much to quicken the artistic life of 
the city. Mr. Bartlett has held a high ideal of his profession, and his 
work as a teacher has had a wide influence which his writings and 
lectures have still further extended. He has done considerable deco- 
rative modelling for reproduction in terra-cotta. His most important 
public work is his " Horace Wells " in the State House grounds 
at Hartford, Connecticut. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts con- 
tains a few v/orks by Francis Dengler, a young sculptor who was 
born in Cincinnati in 1S53, and died in Boston in 1879. After some 
study abroad he was called to the Museum School as a teacher, 
where, although death came so early, he left a record of great useful- 
ness. His group of playing children, entitled " Caught," is not only 
cleverly modelled, but shows a genuine apprehension of the require- 
ments of sculptural grouping. Another name long associated with 
the artistic and intellectual life of Boston was that of Cyrus Cobb, 
a cultivated gentleman who possessed some talent for sculpture. 
Daniel C. French was likewise associated for a period with Boston, 
since his home and studio were for several years at Concord. 

Longest established in Boston of the younger generation of 
sculptors is Henry Hudson Kitson, who was born at Huddersfield, 
England, in 1S65. Mr. Kitson's art education was acquired to some 
extent in the studio of his elder brother, Samuel J. Kitson, also of 
Boston, and in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Continuous bad 
health has limited Mr. Kitson's direct production, but he is the 

489 



49° 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



author of a number of important works, while his influence is felt 
through the achievements of several talented pupils. His delightful 
bronze, " The Music of the Sea" (Fig. 90), was modelled in Paris 
in 1883, and gives proof of the early talent of its author. It is an 
unusually happy conception, wrought with charming spontaneity, 
and nevertheless kept well within the bounds of legitimate sculpture. 
Among Mr. Kitsori's public works are the " Minute-Man " at Lex- 
ington, Massachusetts, a 
military figure at Fram- 
ingham in the same state, 
and a "Farrasfut" in Bos- 
ton. He has received a 
number of medals and 
decorations. 

Mrs. Kitson, formerly 
Miss Theo Ruggles, was 
the most gifted of Mr. 
Kitson's pupils. Her first 
exhibits of importance 
were at the Columbian 
Exposition, where she 
showed four works, — two 
busts and two small stud- 
ies of the nude. She 
received an honorable 
mention at the Paris 
Exposition of 1889, and 
a similar distinction at 
the Salon of the follow- 
Mrs. Kitson is one of the three women members of 
the National Sculpture Society. Her talent is robust, and she 
attacks fearlessly the problems of monumental statuary. Her 
"Volunteer," erected in 1902 as a soldiers' monument at New- 
buryport, Massachusetts, has been justly applauded, and will be 
reproduced as the Massachusetts monument upon the battlefield of 
Vicksburg. In the presence of this spirited and ably composed 
work one is almost compelled to qualify the somewhat sweeping 




Fig. 90. — Kitson: Music of the Sea, 
Boston Museum of Fine Arts. 



ins; vear 



PRESENT-DAY SCULPTORS OF BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA 



491 



assertion that no woman has as yet modelled the male figure to look 
like a man. If not a powerful man, the " Volunteer " is at least a 
most satisfactory representation of adolescent youth. Mrs. Kitson's 
statue of Esek Hopkins, the first admiral of the American navy, 
may be seen at Providence, Rhode Island, and is a simple and force- 
ful interpretation of the subject. 

Another member of the group of young men who serve the cause 
in a double capacity is Bela L. Pratt, sculptor and teacher in the Bos- 
ton Museum School of Fine Arts. Since he is less known to fame 
than some of his metropolitan colleagues, it might be surmised that 
his whole energy has been concentrated in the fulfilment of his 
duties as an instructor — a field in which he has met with gratifying 
success. But the saying that "the busiest people have the most time 
to do things" has more of logic than of paradox in it, and Mr. Pratt's 
professional achievement needs no apology. Despite the demands 
of the school upon his time and his strength, the list of works accom- 
plished by his unaided hands in the ten years from 1893 to the present 
time is a long one. Few have been large or spectacular, but all have 
been wrought with skill and with conscience ; and the sum total is 
one that the young sculptor may well review with satisfaction. 

Mr. Pratt was born at Norwich, Connecticut, in 1867. He 
may be counted a representative New England product, since his 
ancestors have lived in that region for two hundred years. He 
modelled and drew at home when a child, and at the age of sixteen 
entered the Yale School of Fine Arts, where he studied under Pro- 
fessors Niemeyer and Weir. In 18S7 he entered the Art Students' 
League of New York, continuing there his studies under Saint 
Gaudens, Elwell, Chase, and Kenyon Cox. Mr. Pratt enjoyed for a 
time the privilege of working in Saint Gaudens's studio, and upon 
his advice went, in 1890, to Paris, where he studied under Chapu 
and Falguiere. He had the gratifying and remarkable experience 
of entering the same year the Ecole des Beaux-Arts at the head of 
his class. While in school he received three medals and two prizes. 
Returning to the United States in 1892, Mr. Pratt busied himself at 
once with important decorations for the World's Fair. 

The commission for two colossal groups on the Water Gate 
of the so-called Peristyle, at Chicago, gave Mr. Pratt his first oppor- 



492 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



tunity, and in the sketch models he struck perhaps his highest note. 
They showed a sense of mass, of sculptural fitness, and likewise of 
color, which suggested the influence of Michael Angelo, but it was 
an inspiration only, and the models were as distinctly personal as 
they were sustained. That the ultimate works were less effective is 
readily comprehensible by those acquainted with the rapid and some- 
times unintelligent methods of execution employed in the emer- 




Fig. 91. — Pratt: Bishop Brooks. 

gencies of such vast enterprises. It was no fault of Mr. Pratt's if 
the groups which the public saw had lost something of the initial 
spirit which had so impressed the artists upon first view of the small 
models. 

Mr. Pratt's record of industry in Boston begins with a medallion 
in low relief — the first of a long series of similar works, all very 
cleverly handled, and generally of great charm of composition. In 
1S95 and 1S96 he was kept busy with his share of the decorations 



PRESENT-DAY SCULPTORS OF BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA 493 

of the new Congressional Library : a figure, " Philosophy," in the 
rotunda, six large spandrel figures over the main entrance, and four 
medallions, representing the " Four Seasons," in the ceiling of one 
of the large halls. In the reliefs particularly was Mr. Pratt's con- 
tribution of great value, the " Seasons " being among the most inter- 
esting of all the sculptured decorations of the Library. The year 
1896 saw also the birth of an ideal " Victory " for the battleship 
Massachusetts and the achievement of two excellent busts. The 
following year was devoted in large measure to the modelling and 
execution in marble of a recumbent figure of Dr. Coit of St. Paul's 
School, Concord, New Hampshire. This work was given an honor- 
able mention at the Paris Salon of 1897, where it was followed the 
next year by a graceful if somewhat Gallic " Orpheus mourning 
Eurydice," which Mr. Pratt modelled in Paris under the guidance of 
M. Falguiere. In 1S99 he made the Brown memorial tablet for 
Cornell University and the bronze portrait bust of Phillips Brooks 
for Brooks House, Harvard University (Fig. 91), an admirable 
representation of the great divine's massive and unique personality. 
In 1900 he produced a portrait bust of Dr. Shattuck for St. Paul's 
School, Concord, New Hampshire ; the Avery memorial bust for 
Groton, Connecticut ; a bronze group for the United States battle- 
ship Alabama, and the marble study of a young girl, to which ref- 
erence will be made later. 

Mr. Pratt's contributions to the Pan-American Exposition were 
numerous, and certain of them of great beautv. A winged figure in 
particular, for the Liberal Arts building, was one of the most graceful 
works on the grounds. The groups, however, on the same building, 
lacked mass, and the two large, detached groups of Floral Wealth, 
" Blossom " and " Fruition," showed deficiencies in sculptural concep- 
tion which were disappointing to those who remembered Mr. Pratt's 
achievements at a former exposition. These shortcomings could 
scarcely be laid to the charge of the machine modellers who did the 
enlarging ; they were inherent in the composition. The misfortune 
lay largely in the subject. One is at a loss to know how an impres- 
sive sculptural mass can be built around so light and ephemeral a 
motif 'as a flower. More flowers are worse. The only bulk possible 
consists of garlands and baskets of bloom bound into some kind of 



494 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



coherence. In relief, low or high, the problem is a much simpler 
one, and the flowers afford grateful accents of sculptural color. One 
recalls with pleasure a minor feature of those scattering groups with 
their horseless chariots and their windy drapery: this was the "team" 
of little capering cupids which led the way so gleefully. They 
showed great beauty of modelling, and the attitude of two of them 
with outstretched legs was irresistibly amusing. 

But it was in the Art Palace that Mr. Pratt was most satis- 
factorily represented, though by a single work, and this a statuette. It 
was only a little figure, of perhaps half life-size — a nude girl seated 
on the ground, supporting herself with her arms behind her, and her 
sensitive face bowed ; but that little marble was worth more, artisti- 
cally, than nine-tenths of the plaster giants outside. It had an aes- 
thetic reason for existence ; it was born of an emotion. Firmly and 
flexibly modelled, the young body was truth itself, yet truth plus the 
charm of " the general." It was the grace of young maidenhood 
stripped of all that is accidental and unimportant, or even too 
minutely personal. 

Mr. Pratt's two latest works of importance show conceptions of 
great diversity, though bound together by a strain of martial senti- 
ment. The one is a heroic figure of a soldier for St. Paul's School, 
Concord, New Hampshire, erected in honor of one hundred and 
twenty of St. Paul's boys who fought in the Spanish-American 
War. The other is a very original memorial to General Benjamin 
F. Butler, for Lowell, Massachusetts. The first is one of the 
most satisfactory military figures in the country, an ideal — possibly 
a composite — soldier of noble seriousness who stands at his ease 
and looks his admirable, intrepid manhood not only from his fine 
face but from every line. The statue is sculpturally conceived. 
This is its great advantage, that all of the study and painstaking 
detail has been put upon something that started out to be good 
sculpture to begin with. It is possible to make realism and pictu- 
resqueness and all sorts of things look like sculpture by dint of much 
elaboration, but this is sculpture. 

The Butler Memorial (Fig. 92) represents more thought and 
labor than the casual observer would imagine. Mr. Pratt has spent 
much time upon it, but such effort is never lost. It is appre- 



PRESENT-DAY SCULPTORS OF BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA 495 



ciated by those at least whose appreciation the artist most covets. 
This work is in form a large relief of bronze showing " Peace " and 
" War," personified by two female figures. " War," with sad, fore- 
boding face, stands prepared to draw the sword, but halts irresolute 
because of the pleading of sweet-visaged " Peace." The heads are 
perhaps a trifle conventional — how to avoid this and to escape, on 
the other hand, portraiture of one's 
favorite model is a problem. How- 
ever, the type is not lacking in its 
national and even local accent. 
The long, narrow face of " War " 
would contrast interestingly with 
Schilling's " Germania," for in- 
stance. " Peace," while equally im- 
personal, shows great beauty of 
feature and of sentiment. The 
richness of modelling in her face, 
throat, and shoulders is noteworthy. 
The delicacy of the profile obtains 
effective contrast through the dark 
shadows behind it cast by the veil. 
This drapery sweeps downward and 
over the extended arm, and with 
the arm and shoulder of " War " 
completes a very distinct oval — 
a frame, as it were, for the heads 
and busts. Below this line the Fig. 92— Pratt: butler memorial. 

sculptor has introduced no striking accents with the exception of 
the hands and certain shadow notes on the edge of the composi- 
tion, the lower limbs being lost in the flowing drapery, and the 
latter in turn being carefully thrown out of focus by means of very 
subtle modelling. 

It is this refinement of modelling which gives great artistic value 
to the relief. It floats over all like an impalpable veil, very evident 
below, less obliterative where the beautiful arms and busts reveal 
themselves like the undulation of a fair landscape through lifting 
curtains of mist, closing down again upon the shadowy " Peace " 




496 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

and swept away in part but never completely from "War's" troubled 
countenance. So intangible, so unobtrusive are certain of the vir- 
tues of this sterling work, that one might overlook them at first. 
Fortunately it invites many returns, and, like a worthy friend, re- 
veals new beauties upon each approach. The drapery offers several 
masterly passages of sculptural simplification, and it is rare that one 
meets in monumental art anything so fine as the union of tenderness 
and strength in the left arm and hand of " Peace." From the cling- 
ing fingers the eye travels with pleasure to the massive elbow upon 
which the hand is laid and takes notes of its planes, of the firm 
modelling of bone and muscle, the while the mind responds to the 
significance of the gesture. 

Cyrus E. Dallin is of the West, but studied in Boston, where, 
after many wanderings, he has established himself again. He holds 
the position of instructor in modelling in the Massachusetts Normal 
Art School. In studying the record of Mr. Dallin's life one is struck 
with the preeminent value of two of his works. A man of intellect as 
well as of skill, he has tried many things and met with good success 
in all, but without rising above the high average of numerous clever 
colleagues. In his ecpiestrian Indians, however, he has produced 
something- strikino- and distinctive. " The Signal of Peace " is worth 
a score of "Paul Reveres" and "Shermans" and " Reynoldses"; and 
"The Medicine Man" (Fig. 93) is appreciably finer than even its 
predecessor. We have no one who does these " Wild West " sub- 
jects with the impressive gravity which Mr. Dallin puts into them. 
His possible rivals are few: Mr. Borglum has not yet demonstrated 
his ability with large groups; Mr. MacNeil, like Mr. Boyle, has yet 
to essay the horse, and Mr. Proctor threatens to become, like Mr. 
MacNeil, almost too clever to be convincingly savage. By reason 
of excessive refinement of modelling, their works, while undeniably 
beautiful sculpture, have lost something of the sturdy, solid virtues 
of the aboriginal man. Their surfaces hold our attention. Mr. 
Dallin knows the horse and he knows the Indian, he also knows 
how to model ; but whether less expert than these two colleagues of 
his, or less enamoured of the clay, or, as one likes to think, merely 
intent upon expressing his thought in the simplest and most straight- 
forward manner, he omits some portion of that delightful and dis- 




FIG. 93. — DALLIN: THE MEDICINE MAN, FAIRMOUNT PARK, PHILADELPHIA. 



PRESENT-DAY SCULPTORS OF BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA 499 

tracting elaboration which distinguishes their work, and gives us a 
result unique in its impressiveness. 

His knowledge of the horse is the result of studies begun at a very- 
early age on the farm in Utah where he first saw the light in 1861 ; 
and as for acquaintance with the Indians, he tells us that his earliest 
home was surrounded by an adobe wall ten feet in height to prevent 
undue familiarity on their part. There were other red neighbors, 
however, who were not to be feared, and with these the future 
sculptor became well acquainted, addressing them in their own 
tongue and learning not a few of their ways. At the age of 
eighteen he went to work at one of his father's mines, first as a 
cook and then at sorting ore, which he combined with the recre- 
ation of "driving" a wheelbarrow. One fateful morning the 
miners struck a bed of soft, white clay, and its consistency was 
too inviting to be neglected. The boy forgot his wheelbarrow 
and modelled two life-size heads — and his fate was sealed. How 
he got to Boston and how he began study with Mr. Truman 
Bartlett may be read elsewhere ; ' likewise the story of his profes- 
sional struggles, his somewhat tardy trip to Paris in the autumn 
of 1888, and the result of Chapu's training plus the inspiration of 
" Buffalo Bill," who came to Paris with his show the following year. 
The Indians seemed to strike a responsive chord, and led the 
thoughts of the Westerner away for a time from such themes as 
" Apollo and Hyacinthus " and " The Awakening of Spring." " The 
Signal of Peace " began to take form in his mind, and was com- 
pleted, full-size, in time for the Salon of 1890, where it received an 
honorable mention. Brought later to America, it was seen at the 
Columbian Exposition, where it was awarded a medal. The subject 
is a Sioux chief attired in moccasins, breech-clout, and feathered 
war bonnet only. One hand rests on the neck of his pony, and 
with the other he raises aloft his feathered spear, the point upward, 
a recognized signal among the Indians. The pony's ears are 
directed forward, and all four feet are planted on the ground. 

"The Signal of Peace" remained in Chicago, being now one of 
the adornments of Lincoln Park in that city. It was nearly ten 
years before Mr. Dallin's other work permitted him to return to his 

1 " Cyrus E. Dallin, Sculptor," by William Howe Dovvnes, Brush and Pencil, Vol. V, p. I. 



500 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

favorite and most successful field. His greatest achievement, " The 
Medicine Man," was begun in April, 1898, and occupied just a year, 
being ready for exhibition at the Salon of 1899. The poses of both 
horse and rider are almost identical with those of " The Signal 
of Peace," yet the general expression is entirely changed, and the 
technical qualities are vastly improved. As before, the horse is per- 
fectly quiet, yet intent upon some distant object; the Indian's left 
hand, removed from the pony's neck, now rests upon the thigh with 
a firm pressure which gives solidity to the whole composition. The 
right hand no longer extends the spear, but is lifted in a gesture 
of authority, with fingers slightly spread, as if commanding silence. 
The head, weirdly adorned with buffalo horns and feathers, has an 
awe-inspiring look. With open mouth and frowning brow this rep- 
resentative of the mysteries commands not only the respect of his 
followers but the startled attention of every passer-by. Mr. Dallin 
has succeeded in putting great intensity into his work, and in mak- 
ing it convincingly real, although so far removed from our experi- 
ence. It possesses a sort of hieratic majesty, and seems to voice 
the message of one who practises dark arts, imposing them abso- 
lutely upon superstitious men. The priests of Osiris and of Baal 
must have lifted the hand thus. " The Medicine Man " is one of 
the most notable and significant products of American sculpture. 
It was purchased by the Fairmount Park Association in 1900, and 
is a conspicuous ornament of Philadelphia's great pleasure-ground. 

Other works by Mr. Dallin are an excellent marble bust of a 
young lady, shown in the Salon of 1898, his " Newton " in the rotunda 
of the Library of Congress, and a fantastic little " Don Quixote " on 
horseback, an angular conception made up of armor and bones. In 
this work Mr. William H. Downes has found much to admire: " It 
is conceived in an absolutely ideal spirit, and is enveloped in an 
atmosphere of romance which is completely in harmony with that of 
Cervantes. The character of Don Quixote, moreover, is taken seri- 
ously, and with a proper appreciation of its intrinsic nobility and 
pathos. The type is that of the nervous, melancholic, and imagina- 
tive man, and his traits are reflected in the gaunt and bony physique. 
The knight holds in his right hand a long spear, and in his left hand 
the slack reins. He wears a full suit of armor, except that the helmet 



PRESENT-DAY SCULPTORS OF BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA 50 1 

is without a visor. The face is exceedingly expressive. The eyes 
are set deep in their sockets, the nose is aquiline, the cheek-bones 
are salient, the form of the jaws and the pointed beard accentuate the 
idea of length and emaciation. The eyebrows almost meet in a 
single arch ; but the vertical wrinkles between them, and the piercing, 
sustained, and dreamy gaze of the sad eyes well bear out the concep- 
tion of a solemn, cranky, and romantic old gentleman, somewhat out 
of date, but eminently imposing, dignified, and even lovable. He 
sits his horse well, and has a noble bearing. The Rosinante is posi- 
tively a creation of genius, nothing less. The long, lean, osseous 
head of this prehistoric wreck of a nag, and the dismal droop of the 
ears, convey a whole world of mournful equine biography." 1 

Another sculptor connected with Boston, by education at least, 
is Mr. Richard E. Brooks, who has made his home for some years 
past in Paris. Mr. Brooks was born at Braintree, Massachusetts, in 
1865, but spent his youth in the vicinity of the granite quarries of 
Ouincy. He began to model and carve when a mere boy, and was 
permitted to gratify his taste through employment in the works of a 
terra-cotta company. He finally established a business for himself, 
doing all kinds of commercial sculpture, but steadfastly seizing every 
opportunity for study and self-improvement. His clever modelling 
attracted attention, and he received an order for a bust of Governor 
Russell, which gave him his first opportunity to work from life. The 
result was so satisfactory that Mr. Brooks was encouraged to go to 
Paris, where he put himself under the instruction of M. Aube. Like 
most artists sojourning in Paris, he made early quest for a " Salon 
subject." The " Chant de la Vague " was the result, a graceful nude 
female figure presumably seated on the shore of some nameless but 
sounding sea. The work was counted very promising, and received 
an honorable mention ; but with this success the sculptor's excursions 
into the domain of the ideal seem to have abruptly terminated. His 
next important exhibit was the "Colonel Thomas Cass" (Fig. 94), 
which now stands in the Public Gardens of Boston, one of the finest 
examples of a quiet, soldierly figure that American art has thus far 
produced. With its folded arms and steady gaze it is sufficiently re- 
moved from the accidental poses of warfare to justify its prominence 

1 Brush and Pencil, Vol. V, p. 16. 



502 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

and permanency. It is one of those motionless figures which seem 
strangely endowed with life, while its technic could hardly be sur- 
passed for that rarest of qualities, — precise generalization. Mr. 
Brooks was honored with a gold medal for this figure at the Paris 
Exposition of 1900, and received at Buffalo in 190 1 a gold medal 
for an exhibit consisting of the " Colonel Cass," two portrait busts, 
a number of medals, and two interesting examples of applied art, — a 
curious candlestick and a necklace. His latest works have been 
bronze statues ordered by the state of Maryland, the " John Hanson " 
and the "Charles Carroll," which were installed in 1903 in the 
National Sculpture Gallery at Washington. Mr. Brooks is at 
present occupied with a statue of Robert Treat Paine, to be erected 
in one of the public squares of Taunton, Massachusetts. 

Other names connected with the plastic art in Boston are those 
of Samuel Kitson and Max Bachman, architectural sculptors ; Rob- 
ert Kraus, deceased, sculptor of the Crispus Attucks monument; 
and Miss Anna Vaughn Hyatt, of Cambridge, a pupil of Henry H. 
Kitson, who has done some effective work in animal sculpture. 

In Hartford, Mr. Carl Conrads, a German of good training, has 
identified himself with sculpture in granite and has done much 
creditable work, well adapted to the requirements of that ungrateful 
material. Karl Gerhardt also at one time produced a rapid suc- 
cession of bronze figures, of which the " Nathan Hale," in the 
Connecticut State House, is worthy of mention. 

In New Haven one finds not only several works of historic 
interest, but an artist who has made at least two important essays 
in monumental statuary. Yale University has received embellish- 
ment from the hands of its long-time professor of art, John G. 
Weir. To say that Professor Weir's statues of Professor Silliman 
and of President Woolsey are great sculptures, would be extrava- 
gant, for the workmanship is labored and the treatment heavy. 
But even with the achievements of our masters in mind one views 
these efforts with great respect. They are the conceptions of a 
grave, thoughtful man capable of appreciating the dignity of his 
subjects, and in the more recent " President Woolsey " one feels as 
well a comprehension of the demands of the material employed. 
This bowed figure of the aged scholar is no trifling work, but 




FIG. 94. — BROOKS: COLONEL THOMAS CASS, PUBLIC GARDENS, BOSTON. 



PRESENT-DAY SCULPTORS OF BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA 505 

one which the younger world about it may well regard with ven- 
eration. 

In Philadelphia the early sculptural traditions were continued 
before the days of Howard Roberts and of the Centennial by 
various wanderers, among whom were Hugh Cannon, an Irishman, 
and Isaac Broome, a Canadian, who carved Crawford's pediment on 
the Capitol at Washington. Most prominent, however, of those 
coming from afar, was Joseph A. Bailly, a Frenchman (born in 
Paris in 1825), who settled in Philadelphia in 1850, and built up 
a considerable business in portraits and clever specimens of com- 
mercial art. Mr. Bailly had a number of private pupils and also 
taught for a time in the Pennsylvania Academy, where are to 
be seen two of his works, companion groups in marble, entitled 
" The First Prayer " and " The Expulsion." These rather childish 
conceptions are expressed with considerable facility and suggest 
good academic training. This sculptor is represented further in 
Philadelphia by a "Washington" (1869), in front of Independence 
Hall, and a " Witherspoon " in Fairmount Park. At the Centennial 
Exposition his model for an equestrian statue of President Guzman 
Blanco of Venezuela was the conspicuous if somewhat inappropri- 
ate central ornament of the rotunda of Memorial Hall. Bailly died 
in 18S3. 

Among the pupils of Bailly was Albert E. Harnisch, a Phila- 
delphian of German parentage, who went to Italy and sent home 
a number of works of which the titles, " Love in Idleness," " The 
Little Protector," and " Boy robbing an Eagle's Nest," give some in- 
dication. Henry J. Haseltine, a native of Philadelphia, went abroad 
after serving in the Civil War, and opened in 1867 a studio in 
Rome. Among his earlier productions were " Excelsior," " Autumn 
Leaves," " Liberty," " New Wine," " Religion," and " Superstition." 
He sent to the Centennial Exposition three figures : " Spring 
Flowers," " Captivity," and " Lucretia." Other names connected 
with public works in Philadelphia are those of Henry Jackson 
Ellicott, who modelled an equestrian " General McClellan," and 
Alexander Milne Calder, who furnished most of the sculptural 
decorations of the enormous City Hall, as well as a " General 
Meade " in Fairmount Park. 



506 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



Coming now to the active sculptors of to-day in Philadelphia, we 
find two names of prominence, — Charles Grafly and Stirling A. Calder. 
Mr. Grafly is of Quaker lineage and was born in Philadelphia in 
1862; he has known no other home and belongs emphatically to this 
environment. He is a product thereof and appreciates its needs. 
His development has been logical and symmetrical by steps of genu- 
ine, hard-won advancement. He attended school until seventeen 
years of age, when he entered a stone-carving establishment in order 

to gain practical knowl- 
edge of the sculptor's craft. 
He remained there for five 
years, reproducing in mar- 
ble a number of figures. 
During this time he at- 
tended the art schools of 
the Spring Garden Insti- 
tution. In 1S84 he was 
admitted to the Academy, 
where he studied model- 
ling and painting under 
Thomas Eakins, a train- 
ing which bespoke much 
devotion to anatomical re- 
search and practical dis- 
section. In 1888 he went 
to Paris, studying at first 
at the Academie Julien, 
where he was under the 

Fig. 95. - Grafly : Symbol of Life. inspiring influence of 

Chapu in the department of sculpture, and of no less famous pro- 
fessors in drawing. He turned later to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, 
remaining there until the spring of 1890. At the Salon of that year 
he made his debut with two heads, " Daedalus " and " St. John." 
The " Daedalus " was afterward exhibited in Philadelphia, awarded 
honorable mention by the Temple Trust Fund, purchased and cast 
in bronze by the Pennsylvania Academy, and placed in its perma- 
nent collection. 




PRESENT-DAY SCULPTORS OF BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA 507 

A busy summer in this country was followed by a return to 
Paris in the autumn. The product of the winter of 1 890-1 891 was 
a life-size nude female figure, " Mauvais Presage," which was 
accorded honorable mention in the Salon of 1891. This figure is 
now in the possession of the Detroit Museum of Art. About this 
time Mr. Grafly received his call to the chair of sculpture in the 
Pennsylvania Academy and also in Drexel Institute. By way of 
preparation he visited the chief art centres and schools of Europe 
before returning to America. In 1893 his exhibition of the above 
mentioned works at the Columbian Exposition won him a medal, 
and in 1S95 his admirable portrait bust of his mother, modelled in 
1892, brought him a similar recompense in Atlanta. The result of 
a fourth winter in Paris (1895-1896) was the "Vulture of War." 
Since that time he has resided in Philadelphia, occupied largely 
with his teaching and the execution of various commissions. 

Mr. Grafly has made himself known to the artistic public largely 
by means of certain small groups in bronze which he has shown in 
the art museums of various cities of America, as well as at the Paris 
Exposition of 1900, where he received for his collective exhibit the 
high honor of a gold medal. Perhaps the most original of these 
diminutive works is " The Symbol of Life " (Fig. 95). Though 
small, the two nude figures, male and female, which stand side by 
side, taking step together, are " big " in handling. Their faces are 
grave, and there is dignity, almost solemnity, in their carriage. The 
woman holds in her hand a globe of ivory, from which springs a stalk 
of wheat. The man leans upon a primitive scythe. There is enough 
of symbolism here to give significance to the work, but it requires no 
such appeal in order to win our respect. The modelling of those 
superb bodies is a language sufficiently intelligible. One can hardly 
pass the group without walking around it and around again, so 
masterful and satisfying is the workmanship. We may not know 
why the sculptor made the Juno-like woman larger than her com- 
panion ; we may not know why he gave her that mannish stride, 
except that they may keep step ; we can only guess at the significance 
of the globe of ivory and the stalk of wheat, but we can enjoy the 
sculptor's pleasure in the construction of these two figures. Their 
bigness of handling, the feeling of the flesh firm upon the bones, 



508 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

the sinuous flow of the surface, so contrasting in the two, the power 
and the subtlety of modelling of all things essential, and the noble 
disregard of impertinent and importunate details, must appeal to one 
who knows sculpture at all. The very way in which the nails are 
not done is refreshing to one wearied with monotonous, non-signifi- 
cant technic. 

Not less remarkable in its modelling is that later group, " From 
Generation to Generation." Though it is even more cut up in mass 
than the preceding, the figures in themselves are simple and every 
way admirable. Again they are two, a youth and a decrepit old man, 
standing as it were at the parting of the ways, before a large winged 
dial. The aged one, a nude figure of extraordinary thinness, bends 
under the burden of years and clutches a full distaff. The youth, 
advancing with buoyant step and head elate, prepares to spin the 
uncertain thread of life. Again one may pardon the leaning toward 
symbolism ; it is but a faint flavor here, and we are rather glad to 
discover it, because it enables us to recognize the artist in his work. 
It is Grafly and no other. 

Our sculptors are producing few works of imagination in these 
days, and to undertake one without a commission is counted fool- 
hardy ; but Mr. Grafly is an exception and persists in developing 
these strange fancies of his in spite of their considerable cost. He 
seems to think that this is what sculpture is for, — the expression of 
one's ideas in form, — and he protests that he does it because he 
" must." Smaller men excuse themselves for mediocre and slovenly 
work with the same plea, but it is almost bewildering to hear an 
artist acknowledge that work of this high order is done under stress 
of necessity. The reward of such artistic conscience lies not only in 
the achievement of the moment, but in the strengthening of the 
artistic character. When opportunity comes, and with it demand for 
a man's highest abilities, he who has always done his best has him- 
self well in hand. Such an opportunity came to Mr. Grafly at the 
Pan-American Exposition. While the sculptural decorations of 
that most charming of fairs were as a rule well suited to their pur- 
pose, and contributed much to its beauty, there were few features 
of striking originality. The one which stands out in memory as of 
permanent value, as a lasting contribution to the art of this country, 




FIG. 96. — GRAFLY : TRUTH, DECORATION OF ART PALACE, ST. LOUIS. 



PRESENT-DAY SCULPTORS OF BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA 511 

is Mr. Grafly's " Fountain of Man " (Fig. 97). The first glimpse of 
this worthily sculptural conception showed that the sculptor had 
approached his subject with respect and had risen admirably to the 
occasion. The chaste architectural lines, the compact masses of 
the figures with their richness of modelling, and their contrasts one 
with another, made the ensemble a joy to the eye long before closer 
study revealed the significance of parts. 

The official explanation of the fountain was as follows: "Its 
subject is ' Man.' The crowning figure, which is double, so that the 
same effect is produced upon either side, represents that being, so 
mysterious in his origin and destiny; whose powers are so incalcula- 
ble, while he is yet so impotent ; who though wrapped about with 
the shadow of the unknown as a garment, looks out upon life with 
courage and a resolute will. ' Man ' is upheld by a group of five 
figures clasping one another's hands and moving slowly upon a cir- 
cular plinth. They have bowed heads, and they represent the five 
senses working in unison and in subjection to him. In the figures 
the sculptor has aimed to express the characteristics of each sense. 
The fountain has a basin . . . supported by four groups of crouch- 
ing figures, a male and female figure in each, representing the 
struo-o-linor emotions." 

Mr. Grafly's symbolism, always a little annoying to some tastes, 
became exasperating in the crowning figure of this work. A 
double-faced, double-bodied monstrosity like this " Man " is not 
man at all, but a Insiis nations. A pure, wholesome, reason- 
able art does not take such liberties with nature, even in order 
to convey a psychological idea. The Greeks repudiated the gro- 
tesque and the deformed with unerring good taste. Mr. Grafly lost 
himself for the time in Egyptian mysticism, and the consequence is 
an Egyptian chimera. It was the double man as seen in profile 
which was objectionable, however ; the one man viewed from either 
front was admirable and a great achievement. To make one's work 
impressive is among the most difficult problems in art, and Mr. 
Grafly succeeded. This figure possessed a strange, almost hypnotic 
power, which absolute realism could never have produced. The artist 
devised a peculiar, all-enveloping garment which lent itself to the 
effect of mystery. From its parted veil the strong, inscrutable face 



512 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



peered out as might the eyes of death from a shroud. The long 
folds were handled in broad planes, as if blocked out in stone, pro- 
ducing an effect massive and architectonic, yet not crude. The 
artist knew just where to stop in his simplification. Anything 
harsher would have broken the spell, for the eye would have been 
irritated. On the other hand, a more caressingly realistic treat- 
ment would have banished the 
spiritual quality, the sense of 
unreality, which was the power 
of this singular statue. We 
should then have looked upon 
a man up there — an individual 
in clothes — and not " Man." 

The five figures of " The 
Senses," which circled around 
the central shaft as uneasy 
caryatides supporting the upper 
basin, were frankly realistic in 
their proportions, being more 
robust than elegant. The artist 
was too much in earnest to 
be elegant. He told his story 
forcefully throughout. But if 
these were no languid Goujon 
nymphs, they were superb in 
their strength. They, too, were 
" carved " ; ample and mellow 
in modelling, they stopped just 
this side of lusciousness, for here and there was a firm broad plane 
as of the simplifying chisel, giving their forms not only an increase 
of carrying power, but warning the curious and the indiscreet that 
these were not women and men but sculptured creations. 

Showing the same " color " sense and well-constructed through- 
out were the four groups of crouching figures which supported the 
lower basin. Simple and compact, " so that they might be rolled 
clown hill without breaking," yet varied in composition and infi- 
nitely rich in light and shade, they came close to the ideal of glyptic 




Fig. 97. — Grafly : Fragment of Fountain of 
Man. Pan-American Exposition. 



PRESENT-DAY SCULPTORS OF BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA 513 

art. They had in them the qualities of Sinding's " Captive Mother " 
and "A Man and a Woman," of Lefevre's " Bonheur," of Rodin's " Le 
Baiser." If not " great " sculpture, they were near to it. Their vague 
suggestion of " those strange figures which peer out from under the 
stage of the theatre of Dionysos at Athens" has been noted, 1 but 
these were no Greek conceptions. While they were elemental and 
trembled with the passions of all time, their faces were those of our 
own brothers and sisters of to-day. 

Mr. Grafly's later works include several busts, as well as a 
" General Reynolds " for the Smith Memorial in Fairmount Park ; 
" In Much Learning," a nude female figure of extraordinary beauty 
of technic, and " Truth " (Fig. 96), a nude seated figure for the per- 
manent art building of the St. Louis Exposition. No better illus- 
tration could be offered of what may be called mellowness of 
modelling than is shown by this exquisite work. As was suggested 
regarding Story's " Cleopatra," a reversal of the page will analyze its 
decorative value. It will be found that the lights and shades 
which play over the rich form of the "Truth" are no less beautiful 
when the page is viewed upside down. 

Less known to the public, but highly esteemed by brother 
artists, is the work of Alexander Stirling Calder. Mr. Calder, who 
is still a young man, — he was born in Philadelphia in 1870, — 
may be said to have inherited his profession, since he follows in the 
footsteps of his father, A. M. Calder. He studied four years in the 
Academy of Pennsylvania and two years in Paris under Chapu and 
Falguiere, and since his return has been connected with the Phila- 
delphia School of Industrial Art, a field where his decorative sense 
and sympathies find congenial employment. However, his work in 
other forms of sculpture is by no means inconsiderable. His first 
commission was for a statue of Dr. Samuel D. Gross, which now 
stands in front of the Army and Medical Museum in Washington. 
This statue, though offering certain eccentricities of pose, is one 
of the most workmanlike examples of modelling in the capital 
city. It shows a large simplification of forms, and the handling 
of the modern costume is admirably clone, while the characteriza- 
tion of head and hands is no less gratifying. Among later works 

1 Mrs. Cyrus E. Dallin in New Etigland Magazine, vol. XXV, p. 228. 
2 L 



514 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

by Mr. Calder are the six figures of heroic size which give meaning 
to the exterior of the Witherspoon building in Philadelphia. These 
six representative Presbyterians are as follows: Dr. John McMil- 
lan, Rev. Francis MacKenzie, Dr. Marcus Whitman, Rev. Dr. 
Samuel Davies, Rev. James Caldwell, and John Witherspoon, D.D. 
Even at the height imposed by the architectural scheme the rugged 
figures show much individuality. In his treatment of the material, 
as in his grasp of subjects, Mr. Calder is plain and straightforward. 
Even his decorative inventions are remarkably free from complexity. 
His fountain for the class of 1892 of the University of Pennsylvania 
is an excellent illustration of his style. Among more ideal themes 
are such interesting works as " The Man Cub," " Child Playing," 
" Mother and Baby," " The Dozing Hercules," a study for " Momus," 
" The Miner," " Narcissus," and " Primal Discontent," the latter a 
notably powerful study of the nude. His sketch model for a monu- 
ment to Matthias W. Baldwin is one of the best designs for a figure 
and pedestal yet produced in this country. 

Samuel Murray, a pupil of Thomas Eakins, has produced few 
large works, being best known for his statuettes, notably a " Boxer," 
and for his busts, which are well constructed and very carefully 
modelled. Mention should also be made of Charles Brinton Cox 
who models animals as well as men, and of Miss Katherine Cohen, 
who has produced a considerable number of decorative figures and 
reliefs. 

It is quite possible that the fame of all of these artists might 
have been overshadowed by the talent of another Philadelphian, 
had fate permitted him to fulfil the promise of his young man- 
hood. Edmund Austin Stewardson left only one work, " The 
Bather" (Fig. 98), but this figure is so masterly in every respect 
that, in bronze and in marble, it is counted among the chief treasures 
of the Pennsylvania Academy and of the Metropolitan Museum. 
It is impossible for a figure so well conceived and so ably treated 
as this ever to be considered other than good sculpture. As a first 
effort, it naturally expresses but the unfolding of an artistic char- 
acter. It is not an ambitious work, nor one of deep significance, and 
the sculptor would doubtless have developed higher ideals, freeing 
himself from the limitations of the model ; but as an example of 




FIG. 98. — STEWARDSON : THE BATHER, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM. 



PRESENT-DAY SCULPTORS OF BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA 517 

accurate knowledge, of technical skill, and of good taste, " The 
Bather " is justly ranked among the finest products of American 
art. Mr. Stewardson was born in Philadelphia in i860, studied at 
the Pennsylvania Academy, and later at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, 
as well as under Allar and Chapu, modelled "The Bather" in 1890, 
and was drowned while boating, at Newport, Rhode Island, July 3, 
1892. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

SCULPTORS OF THE SOUTH AND WEST: CONCLUSION 

While nine-tenths of our sculptors are gathered in New York 
City, working together with more or less harmony, or at least, as 
Hawthorne said of the early colony in Rome, keeping each other 
warm by animal heat, it has been the fortune of a few to be assigned 
by fate to picket duty on a somewhat bleak frontier. Each of our 
secondary cities has its sculptor, called to the lonely task of uphold- 
ing the standard of art in a community without artistic traditions 
and very much engrossed in other concerns. Were he nothing but 
an artist — in the familiar restricted sense of the word — such an 
isolation would soon become intolerable, like that of the signal-service 
officials in the mountains. Fortunately, most of our sculptors are 
not only artists, but robust, thinking men, and keenly alive to the 
interest of their surroundings. Unlike so many of the earlier gen- 
eration, those who are now at work are very much of their own time 
and country, believing in them and interpreting them with a zest 
which is one of the most hopeful features of this period. 

But the position of the isolated sculptor is a peculiar one. In 
some ways he is related to the pioneers of the forties and fifties. If 
there is more visible art to-day, the artist is, on the other hand, quite 
as dependent upon himself for initiative and momentum. They had 
enthusiasm at least in those primitive times ! Powers and Hart, 
Brown, Clevenger, and all the rest, were objects of interest to their 
countrymen. They were able, also, to make profitable circuits, 
gathering rich harvests of busts to be carved abroad. The elevated 
standard of to-day has its own drawbacks ; our wealthy people have 
so much theoretical knowledge that the majority patronize home art 
not at all. The result is that the young sculptor has an exceedingly 
precarious foothold. Busts have "gone out"; they are no longer 

518 



SCULPTORS OF THE SOUTH AND WEST 519 

necessities of the home, for the home itself is on castors and must be 
kept in light marching order. Public monuments are furnished by 
the granite companies, and the department stores offer " a complete 
line " of alabaster statuary at prices which would not repay a sculp- 
tor for conceiving the figures, let alone modelling and carving them ! 

So the sculptor, from necessity, " teaches " ; and of this necessity 
has come one of the greatest factors in the rapid progress of recent 
years. If there is anything that is indisputably " worth while," it 
lies in helping others to help themselves ; above all in leading young 
talent to the fields of usefulness for which it is particularly adapted. 
No mortal is without his gift ; but comparatively few are situated 
where they may do their best, and many never discover their own 
abilities. Our most intimate circles contain their " mute inglorious 
Miltons," who are often quite as unconscious of their powers as they 
are of their deficiencies. The teacher cannot make sculptors, but he 
can point the way and afford opportunity. Of the many who come to 
him none is likely to be injured by a little knowledge of the processes 
of sculpture, and among them is an occasional " genius." It would 
surprise the reader to learn what numbers attempt this fascinating art. 
Each of our cities of five hundred thousand or more inhabitants has 
its school of art, and in the larger ones modelling is generally a 
prominent feature. In the Art Institute of Chicago, for instance, no 
fewer than one hundred adults receive each year some instruction 
in sculpture. The Saturday juvenile classes in modelling contain 
perhaps as many more school children. Few, indeed, of this great 
number will become professional sculptors. Among them are wood- 
carvers and marble-cutters, decorators, school-teachers, and future 
instructors in the various arts, as well as many young women soon 
to be called to the high responsibilities of home-making. Through- 
out the West this quiet influence is spreading until already there is 
scarcely a neighborhood without its centre of artistic taste and refine- 
ment. It may be but a modest home ; generally it is a group of 
women who study about art, and whose ultimate ambition is to pro- 
vide their community with an art collection and a school of design. 

Then there are the pupils of exceptional talent. In a sense our 
schools are for them, the many providing the means that the few 
may go farther. After the home school come New York and Paris, 



5 20 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 



and after Paris generally New York again ; but a few professionals 
return to their own cities to carry on the work. Among those who 
have in turn become teachers and are serving the cause in this 
capacity as well as in their studios, are Messrs. MacNeil in New 
York; Dallin, Kitson, and Pratt in Boston; Grafly and Calder in 
Philadelphia; Keyser in Baltimore; Barnhorn in Cincinnati; Mul- 
ligan in Chicago ; Bringhurst in St. Louis ; and Tilden and Aitkin in 
San Francisco. Enthusiastic instructors, all of them, — like Saint 




Fig. 99. — Barnhorn: Magdalen, Art Museum, Cincinnati. 

Gaudens, Adams, and Barnard in the past, — these men are not 
teachers alone, but, as their records show, busy sculptors as well. 
If thus grouped here, it is to emphasize their locations and the 
peculiar conditions under which they work, as well as to explain 
their relatively small output. It should be remembered that not 
only do these sculptors give from one to three days of each week to 
their classes, but that their productions are almost entirely the work 
of their own hands. The shop system of New York does not ex- 
tend to the provinces. A certain amount of assistance is not only 
legitimate but almost indispensable in the handling of large work, 
but the isolated sculptor seldom requires it in the execution of his 



SCULPTORS OF THE SOUTH AND WEST 52 1 

modest commissions. When the emergency does come, he is gen- 
erally obliged to depend upon the inexperience of young pupils. 
It is evident, then, that where a sculptor is compelled to do individu- 
ally all parts of the work, from building up armatures to making the 
cast, not to speak of carving the marble and chasing the bronze, he 
can hardly compete in productivity with an " establishment." 

With the exception of Edward Kemeys no sculptor of distinction 
has come as yet from the Southern states, — at least from the states 
below Virginia, — a fact which seems strange when one considers 
the culture of the South and its old-time wealth. That the artistic 
instinct is not lacking in that part of the country is demonstrated by 
the fact that a number of our excellent painters and architects were 
born in the region of the Gulf of Mexico ; but thus far it has pro- 
duced no sculptors. While Maryland and Virginia have given birth 
to several sculptors, the leading cities of these two states can boast 
to-day of only one each. The lone representative of the plastic arts 
in Baltimore is Ephraim Keyser, who was born in that city in 1852. 
Mr. Keyser studied in the Royal Art Academy of Munich from 
1872 to 1876, under Professor Widmann, and enjoyed later, in 
Berlin, the instruction of Professor Albert Wolff. Here his life-size 
figure of " Psyche," now in the Cincinnati Museum, won for him 
not only the silver medal of the Academy, but the " Michael 
Beerche prize," with the privilege of one year's study in Rome at 
government expense. His best known achievement is the memo- 
rial to Chester A. Arthur in Albany Rural Cemetery, Albany, New 
York, a graceful and expressive work. An angel with drooping 
wings and sorrowful visage stands beside the sarcophagus, upon 
which she lays a palm branch. Even more satisfying is Mr. Keyser's 
" Stein Memorial " in the Hebrew Cemetery of Baltimore. Within 
a massive die is a seated, winged figure in comparatively low relief, 
so harmoniously composed and modelled that it shows neither dis- 
cord of line nor disagreeable spots of shadow. The mourner, with 
bowed head supported by the hands, is framed in by the great wings 
which form an irregular oval. The admirable qualities of this relief 
testify to the artist's equipment for his work as well as to his poetic 
imagination. Another product of Mr. Keyser's skill to be seen in 
Baltimore is a bust of a man, in the Peabody Institute. This frown- 



522 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

ing portrait could hardly be surpassed for incisive characterization. 
Like the relief just mentioned, it is carved with "atmosphere" — to 
use the painter's term once more — and demonstrates the all-round 
training of the sculptor. 

Edward Valentine was born in Richmond, in 1S38, and his 
name and works have been very closely associated with his native city. 
He made early choice of the profession of sculpture, taking a course 
in anatomy when scarcely more than a boy. After exhausting the 
resources of the local artists, he went abroad in 1859, studying for a 
time in Paris with Couture, then journeying to Italy, where he spent 
a year among monuments and museums. At length he found him- 
self in Berlin, where he became the pupil of Kiss, with whom he 
remained until the death of the aged sculptor. Returning to Rich- 
mond in 1865, a time of hopeless depression, he was introduced to 
his public through a statuette of General Lee, which he had already 
exhibited in London. No commissions came to him in those dark 
days, but he did a number of ideal heads ; among others " The 
Samaritan Woman," "The Penitent Thief," and — more signifi- 
cantly local — " The Nation's Ward," a laughing darky boy. An- 
other study of the African, somewhat akin to the contemporaneous 
" Rogers groups," was entitled " Knowledge is Power," and showed 
a negro boy, clothed in tatters, who has fallen asleep with his dog- 
eared book dropping from a very limp hand. An order of impor- 
tance finally came to the expectant sculptor. Upon the death of 
General Lee, in 1870, he was commissioned to execute a memorial 
to be placed in the Washington and Lee University at Lexington, 
Virginia. He represented his subject as stretched upon a narrow 
soldier's bed, in his uniform of a general. One hand is placed on 
the breast, the other lies by the side, resting upon the sword. The 
likeness is said to be excellent. Other orders have come to the 
sculptor in the form of numerous portraits, including bronzes of 
General T. J. Jackson and General W. C. Wickham and a marble 
statue of Thomas Jefferson in the Hotel Jefferson, all at Richmond. 
His most serious ideal work is his group " Andromache and As- 
tyanax," the moment represented being that just after Hector's 
farewell, when the mourning wife sits unconscious even of the child 
upon her knee. 



SCULPTORS OF THE SOUTH AND WEST 



523 



In Cincinnati, John Frankenstein, an almost unknown sculptor, 
has left slight but interesting traces. A number of casts of heads, 
hidden away in the studio of a venerable painter, show masterly 
handling of the clay, a gift which seems never to have been recog- 
nized, or at least never to have been encouraged. Louis T. 
Rebisso, who taught modelling for many years in the Art Acad- 
emy of Cincinnati, was not a great sculptor. His equestrian 




Fig. 100. — Duveneck : Tomb of Mrs. Duveneck, English Cemetery, Florence. 

statues appear to have been in much demand, since they are 
found in several cities, but they are uniformly commonplace, not 
good enough to be considered seriously from an artistic stand- 
point, nor bad enough to be picturesque. His " General McPher- 
son " is in Washington, " General Harrison " in Cincinnati, and 
" General Grant " in Chicago. Mr. Rebisso's most valuable contri- 
bution was, therefore, in the capacity of a teacher; in his encour- 
agement and guidance of such men as Niehaus, Barnhorn, and 
Borglum he did good service. 



524 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Cincinnati's remaining sculptor is Clement J. Barnhorn, who 
was born in that city in 1857. Mr. Barnhorn obtained his general 
education in Saint Xavier's College, and after leaving this institution 
began as a carver in wood ; but the career seeming at the time badly 
chosen, he turned to marble work, at which he remained for seven 
years. Later he went back to wood-carving with Henry L. Fry, 
an old English carver, who had worked on the House of Parliament 
in London, a remarkable man, who showed the artist in every- 
thing he did. Mr. Barnhorn writes : " His stories of his youth and 
trials as a carver were to me most interesting. He had worked in 
shops in England when men still wore long queues, unbuckled their 
swords, and hung them beside their bench before beginning work. 
I was greatly fascinated with this man, and as he was an artist, I 
profited much by his instruction." During all this time Mr. Barn- 
horn had been engaged in night study at the Cincinnati Art Acad- 
emy, where he was for eleven years under the instruction of 
Louis T. Rebisso. At the end of this period he had shown such 
convincing proofs of talent that the Art Museum of Cincinnati, on 
behalf of the Academy, sent him abroad for a further period of 
study. He remained in Europe for three years, spending most of 
the time in Paris, but including six months in Italy. The visible 
result of this sojourn in the great art centre, where he studied sculp- 
ture with Puech and Mercie and drawing at Julien's, was an ideal 
figure, " Magdalen " (Fig. 99), which won an honorable mention at 
the Salon of 1S95 and a bronze medal at the Exposition of 1900. 
Mr. Barnhorn had the unusual good fortune to receive a second 
bronze medal at this exposition — the "Art Nouveau " medal for 
the designing and carving of a remarkable piano. At the Buffalo 
Exposition also he was awarded a bronze medal for a bust of a baby. 

The " Magdalen," a recumbent, mourning figure now in the 
Cincinnati Museum, is good sculpture, definitely conceived and 
beautifully modelled. It is an old, old subject, but artists of per- 
sonality know how to renew ancient themes by the manner in which 
they present them, and Mr. Barnhorn has given us a new Magdalen, 
which appeals to us as much through its style and purity of lines as 
by reason of its undoubted emotional significance. This admi- 
rable nude has in it a promise which the sculptor's present 



SCULPTORS OF THE SOUTH AND WEST 



525 



environment may do little to bring to fruition, for the call for 
" ideal " statuary is very slight in our Western cities. Beyond giving 
such works house-room in the museums, public responsibility ceases. 
However, Mr. Barnhorn cannot complain of lack of appreciation at 
home, and has fared exceptionally well. Not only was he provided 
with the means for study abroad, but his talent has been constantly 
employed ever since his return in the designing and execution of a 
series of public memo- 
rials and of many por- 
traits. In these he 
shows the thorough 
training of the crafts- 
man who knows his art 
and more. A charm- 
ing wall-fountain for 
an Indianapolis high 
school, shown at the 
Madison Square Gar- 
den exhibition of 1902, 
gave an idea of his 
inventive ingenuity on 
semi-architectural 
lines. Still more inter- 
esting is the beautiful 
relief, " Maenads," a 
bronze panel ordered 
by the Queen City 
Club of Cincinnati for 
the decoration of a mantel. In it the artist has shown a fine percep- 
tion of the requirements of such design, — the interlacing of graceful 
lines, the balance of light and shade, and the subtler graces of move- 
ment and allure. If here and there the drawing is cursory and the 
captious eye may discover details which annoy, the effect as a whole 
is all that could be desired, especially in the rich bronze which glows 
through an exquisite velvety patina. 

A name intimately associated with Cincinnati may be included 
here, that of the gifted painter, Frank Duveneck, whose one essay 




Fig. ioi. — Mulligan: Miner and Child. 



526 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

in sculpture is a work of such significance and beauty that it cannot 
be overlooked (Fig. ioo). As will be seen from the illustration, it 
is a memorial to the artist's wife, who died in Florence and was 
buried in the English cemetery of that city. There, against its 
sombre background of cypress trees, the tomb is an object of pathetic 
interest to all visitors. So exquisite is its sentiment, so worthy its 
execution that even the plaster cast, when shown in an exhibition 
of the National Sculpture Society at New York, in 1898, seemed to 
convert its surroundings into a memorial chapel. 

In Chicago the promise of the Columbian Exposition has had 
scanty fulfilment. A considerable number of the sculptors, brought 
thither by the great fair, tarried after its close to reap a further har- 
vest ; but the financial unsettlement of the country affected the over- 
built city of the West with peculiar severity, and the disappointed 
sculptors and decorators withdrew with one accord to a more con- 
genial environment. Architectural sculpture, so auspiciously intro- 
duced, had failed to take root. Among those who remained for a 
longer or shorter period were Messrs. Kemeys, MacNeil, Proctor, 
Gelert, Rohl-Smith, and Wuertz, all of whom migrated in the course 
of time. In spite of this discouraging exodus several sculptors are 
to be found in Chicago to-day. Among the names most frequently 
met in the catalogues of local exhibits are those of Richard Bock, 
Julia Bracken, Leopold Bracony, Alice Cooper, Leonard Crunelle, 
Will LaFavor, Max Mauch, Lou Wall Moore, Charles J. Mulligan, 
and Erwald Perry. 

Mr. Bock is known for his architectural decorations and military 
memorials. By all odds the most valuable of his works is the strange 
" Boulder Man," which he designed and modelled to crown a heavy 
gate-post. This compact mass, a powerful body apparently half 
buried in the earth or struggling like one of the sons of the Dragon's 
Teeth to emerge from the soil, is a work of unique originality. 
Though treated in a summary manner, it is impressive from every 
view ; one feels it to be sculpture. 

Mr. Crunelle has a novel specialty. Although born of a line of 
colliers, and himself through youth a worker in the mines, he has a 
style of marked delicacy and grace which finds fitting expression in 
portraits of children. " Crunelle's babies " have been seen at various 



SCULPTORS OF THE SOUTH AND WEST 527 

exhibitions in the East as well as at Chicago, and never fail to attract 
by their sympathetic rendering of the various infantile emotions. 
The wondering look, the mystery and the unconscious helplessness 
of infancy, he interprets with fascinating truth and a very skilful touch. 
Mr. Crunelle received a silver medal at the Atlanta Exposition for 
his bust of " Marguerite." 

Mr. Charles J. Mulligan has demonstrated his right to a place 
among the men of promise in American sculpture. His " Digger," 
shown at the Pan-American Exposition, and the four figures of 
workingmen which he produced in rapid succession for the Illinois 
building at the same fair, had an individual quality, a convincing 
robustness and dignity, which removed them far from the usual stop- 
gaps of architectural sculpture. In his " Miner and Child " (Fig. 101), 
Mr. Mulligan has taken another step, replacing realism with a broader 
generalization, and presenting in a simple sculptural mass a remark- 
able union of strength and tenderness, — a blend of these two ele- 
ments as pleasing to the fancy as is the composition to the critical 
sense. Mr. Mulligan seems to have a distinct gift in this direction. 
He may be destined to become the prophet of hopeful, cheerful labor. 
His heart is in it; he knows his subjects thoroughly, and his strong 
right hand has within its grasp the delicacy and precision which 
come from long and patient training. 

[Lorado Taft, the author of this " History of Sculpture," was 
born in Elmwood, Peoria County, Illinois, in i860. His father, 
Don Carlos Taft, was a professor in the State University at Cham- 
paign, Illinois, and there Mr. Taft was graduated in 1S79. He went 
abroad in 1S80 and studied for three years in the Ecole des Beaux- 
Arts. After a visit home he returned to Paris for another period of 
two years. In 1886 he established himself in Chicago, where he 
soon took charge of the classes in modelling at the Art Institute. 
He has taught there ever since, besides giving many courses of 
public lectures, both at the Institute and in the extension depart- 
ment of the University of Chicago. His professional work has been 
largely in portraiture and military monuments. He contributed to 
the Columbian Exposition the groups, " The Sleep of the Flowers " 
and " The Awakening of the Flowers," on the Horticultural building. 
Among his more recent works are, " Despair," 1898; "The Solitude 



5^8 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 




Fig. 102. — Bringhurst: The Kiss of Eternity. 



of the Soul," 1900; "Knowledge," 1902; and the "Fountain of the 
Lakes," 1903. A military group for Jackson, Michigan, was also 
done in 1903. — Editor.] 

Miss Bracken is the leader of the women sculptors of the West. 
She has abundant ingenuity and a well-characterized style of her 
own, recognizable for its decorative grace. Miss Bracken has done 
considerable work of a high quality, not limiting herself to the usual 
processes and materials, but carving in wood and marble with equal 
facility. Her clever reliefs of Ibsen, Carlyle, and others are well 
known through reproductions ; her portraits are strong characteriza- 
tions, while her works of fancy are rich in unexpected charms ; a tiny 
Japanese mother and baby, for instance, has not been surpassed in 
this country for dainty grace. Her stately " Illinois welcoming the 
Nations," a souvenir of the Columbian Exposition, stands in bronze 
in the capitol at Springfield. Miss Cooper, who comes from Denver, 
Colorado, has shown her skill in a number of interesting works. 



SCULPTORS OF THE SOUTH AND WEST 529 

Her " Summer Breeze," " Dancing Nymph," and " Frog Girl " are 
charming conceits which reveal much originality. Mrs. Moore has 
likewise a nimble fancy ; her ingenious little figures and busts and 
her carefully considered reliefs make one wish to see larger and 
more adequate expressions of a nature essentially artistic. 

The year 1903 finds the eyes of all the fraternity directed 
toward St. Louis on account of the coming Exposition, but in 
normal times that city has only a temperate appetite for sculpture, 
supporting as it does a single representative of the profession. Mr. 
Robert P. Bringhurst has practised his art there alone since 1885, 
when he was called to take charge of the classes in sculpture of 
the local art school. Born in Jersey County, Illinois, in 1855, Mr. 
Bringhurst was obliged to assist early in the support of a widowed 
mother and younger brothers, and turned to the marble business, 
which he followed for some time in the neighboring town of 
Jerseyville. He became a clever carver; the usual progress from 
lettering to weeping willows and ultimately to lambs and pointing 
hands, was made rapidly, but left the ambitious workman unsatisfied. 
He visited the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, and as it chanced 
that some kind of instruction was then given in modelling, he 
arranged for a term's study, which lengthened into several. Finally 
the most stringent economy made a trip to Paris feasible, and 
there, in the Atelier Dumont of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, the 
young man had his first experience in modelling from life. The 
sojourn was all too short, but was resumed a year or two later, 
and enabled the eager student to gain the knowledge which he so 
coveted and which has stood him in good stead as sculptor and 
teacher in his adopted city. The habits of industry of his youth 
have continued. The walls of his commodious studio, opposite the 
Art Museum, are lined with his works; its shelves groan under their 
burdens of sketch models ; while few of the public buildings of St. 
Louis are without their record of his skill in the form of portrait 
busts or memorial tablets. His decorations of the Art Palace at the 
Omaha Exposition were works of much beauty, and his important 
sculptures for the Educational building at the St. Louis Exposition 
promise to be even more successful. Mr. Bringhurst received a 
medal at the Columbian Exposition for his " Faun " and his " Awak- 

2M 



530 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

ening of Spring," a graceful figure of a young girl, modelled in 
Paris and now in the Art Institute of Chicago. His tastes lie in 
the direction of poetic themes of this character. The studies and 
compositions which he produces incessantly show many beautiful 
fancies. " The Kiss of Eternity " (Fig. 102) is a good example of 
his style. 

From St. Louis one must travel far afield before cominsr to 
another centre of artistic activity. Denver has produced some sculp- 
tors, but no sculpture ; her gifted children find it necessary to descend 
to a less attenuated atmosphere in order to create. It is not until we 
reach San Francisco that we find the sculptor's art practised with 
enthusiasm. In that isolated but opulent region, which its inhab- 
itants term the " right hand " of the continent, the conditions are 
somewhat similar to those of the East of fifty years ago. Some- 
what, but not entirely. Like our ancestors — and theirs — of the 
Atlantic shore, these stalwart men of the sunny slope are without 
artistic training, but avid for " art." Their wealth, their instincts, 
and their pride demand it, and they indulge their tastes without 
stint, but thus far, it would seem, without great discrimination. 
They build memorial arches embroidered with ludicrous sculptures, 
and set up statues which cause pain in the Eastern foundries where 
they are cast. They ask no counsel from artist or critic. 

Herein is the very great difference between the two sections of 
the country. The East, intrepid in business and fertile in invention, 
was long exceedingly timid in matters aesthetic, clinging closely to 
the traditions of Europe, seeking a precedent for every step, doing 
only what was being done abroad. The Western coast in its self- 
sufficiency seems more typical of America, showing an attitude 
which might have been expected everywhere in this land of inde- 
pendence. Having nothing, it proceeds to create in its own way 
sculpture and paintings, as it has already — and brilliantly — created 
its own literature. Where there are no restrictions the products 
must necessarily be in large measure formless and uncouth ; but be 
they amusing or pathetic, they will disclose a quality of freedom and 
spontaneity, of that delight in doing which is the very soul of art. 
In time this soul will find itself a body; not an amorphous hulk of 
giant size, but a symmetrical organism which may convey nobly the 




FIG. 103. — TILDEN: FOOTBALL PLAYERS. 



SCULPTORS OF THE SOUTH AND WEST 



51 1 
66 



dignity and grandeur of the creator's conceptions. In the East the 
"body" was builded first, laboriously, conscientiously, with many a 
measurement and reference to authority — and its soul has but 
begun to make itself felt. The ardent, exuberant West must per- 
force do its work in its own way, and its individual expression prom- 
ises to be vastly interesting. 

For the present, however, this young soul, so buoyant and self- 
confident, is somewhat naif. It is not yet developed, and, like 
vigorous youth everywhere, cares more for the pleasure of doing 
than for what is clone. The physical grasp predominates over the 
mental. Hence the traveller in California is startled now and then 
by such absurdities as the sculptured frieze on the Stanford Arch, 
such crudities as the Lick monument, and such extravagances as 
the " Mechanics' Fountain " (Fig. 104). The latter work differs, 
however, from the others in being the production of an accom- 
plished artist, who has allowed the intoxicating atmosphere of his 
native state to affect his judgment. Unexpected as is such work 
from a man of Mr. Tilden's training, it is easy to trace through all 
of his earlier productions that love of physical strength — of the 
body for its own sake — which here fairly runs riot. It is seldom 
that our art shows this wholesome athletic tendency, and even the 
" Mechanics' Fountain " has its refreshing side. 

Douglas Tilden, the most eminent sculptor of the Western coast, 
comes of an old and highly respected family, derived originally from 
Maryland. He was born in i860, and at the age of five had the 
misfortune to lose his hearing as the result of scarlet fever. He 
was educated at the Institute for the Deaf and Dumb at Berkeley, 
and later entered the University of California, but, being offered 
a position as teacher in the Institute, abandoned his ambition for a 
collegiate education. He had always drawn, but had not modelled, 
nor thought of sculpture, until he was twenty-three years of age, 
when, upon seeing a brother's experiment with the clay, he resolved 
to try it himself. Delighted with the result, he sought instruction, 
and, after taking a few lessons, practised by himself throughout the 
four years of his connection with the Institute. In 18S5 his first 
work, a statuette entitled " The Tired Wrestler," won for him the 
privilege of further study abroad. After seven months in the 



534 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Academy of Design in New York, he sailed for Paris, where he 
put himself under the tutelage of M. Paul Chopin, a deaf-mute 
sculptor of high standing. His first exhibit at the Salon was "The 
Baseball Player," a realistic representation of a " pitcher," on the 
point of throwing the ball. The following year, 1889, the sculptor 
exhibited the bronze reproduction of this figure, which now stands 
in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, and a new work, " The Tired 
Boxer." The latter, reproduced in bronze, was accorded an hon- 
orable mention at the Salon of 1S90. In 1892 Mr. Tilden 
exhibited a large and tumultuous group, " The Bear Hunt," repre- 
senting a struggle between two Indians and an enormous monster 
standing on its hind legs. There is much science and much 
savagery in this study, but it is melodramatic ; the result is un- 
pleasant and hardly worthy of sculpture. All of these important 
works, and a small bronze called " The Young Acrobat," were seen 
at the Columbian Exposition, where they would undoubtedly have 
brought the sculptor a medal had this honor not been anticipated 
by his appointment on the jury. His last work in Paris, closing his 
long stay of seven years, was the admirable group of " The Football 
Players" (Fig. 103). This group shows in both modelling and 
composition the progress of those seven earnest years, and is the 
most scholarly expression of Mr. Tilden's robust art. 

Arriving in San Francisco in 1894, his first important commis- 
sion was for the " Native Sons' Fountain," the elements of which are 
a well-proportioned column, embellished by two figures: a miner at 
its base, who waves a flag with animated gesture, and a graceful 
winged figure poised airily upon the capital and holding above 
her head a tablet. The order for the " Mechanics' Fountain " 
followed, a memorial in honor of Peter Donahue, a pioneer ship and 
railroad builder. The sculptor made various more or less conven- 
tional designs, with which he could not satisfy himself, until in passing 
one day a machine shop he caught a glimpse of workmen operating 
a large lever punch. This gave him a motif, which he expanded 
into the strange design since realized in bronze and granite. While 
bizarre and restless beyond the proper limitations of monumental art, 
it is made up of admirable factors, and the whole work breathes an 
audacity and enthusiasm which are almost convincing. Unacademic 



SCULPTORS OF THE SOUTH AND WEST 



535 



as is the artist's approach, certain aspects of the composition are suffi- 
ciently sculptural, and almost all views could be used happily in relief, 
where the rigid outlines of the machine might be somewhat veiled. 
The figures suspended upon the arm of the lever have the improba- 
bility and the zest of demons. By the terms of the contract the com- 
pleted work was due at the foundry in six months from its beginning. 




Fig. 104. — Tilden : Mechanics' Fountain*, San Francisco. 

There was no time for weariness of mind and for reconsideration. 
In one half-year those seven tons of clay were converted into what 
may fairly be termed the most unconventional work of sculpture in 
the United States. Its merits are evident ; " its faults are those 
that belong to the land of sun and harvest " where it grew. We 
may look upon its lawless composition and its ragged contour with 
the eye of criticism, but we can feel only admiration for the ardent 
and intrepid sculptor who wrought this wonder in those brief 



536 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

months. As Pitt said of a speech by Fox, " Don't disparage it ; 
nobody could have made it but himself." Not only could no one 
but Mr. Tilden have made the " Mechanics' Fountain," but it could 
have been done in no other city than San Francisco. In allowing 
himself " full swing," the sculptor of the Pacific slope has given us a 
historic document, full of significance of time and place. 

The most conspicuous of Mr. Tilden's pupils is Robert I. Aitkin, 
who has succeeded him as instructor at the Mark Hopkins Institute. 
Mr. Aitkin appears to share his teacher's energy and already, in 
some degree, his skill. Though scarcely more than a youth, he has 
done several important works, the most noteworthy of which are a 
mortuary relief, "The Gates of Silence"; the McKinley monuments 
for St. Helena, California, and for San Francisco ; and the decora- 
tions of the Dewey Monument in the latter city. The colossal 
" Victory," which crowns the shaft of this memorial, one hundred 
feet from the ground, has been highly praised by those who have 
seen it in place. 

Others who received their first inspiration from Mr. Tilden are 
Edgar Walter, who has exhibited at six successive Salons works 
of increasing power and interest, and Earl Cummings, who has also 
won honors abroad. Frank Happersburger has a large and per- 
manent place in the sculpture of the Pacific coast. His " Garfield " 
he made in Europe, but the sculpture of the Lick monument was 
modelled and cast in San Francisco. In this enormous work the 
designer has pictured various scenes of Western activity, as well as 
a portion of the animal life of California. He was assisted in his un- 
dertaking by V. Guglielmo, a skilful Italian modeller. Mr. Marion 
F. Wells, the sculptor of the giant figure of " Progress " which crowns 
the dome of the San Francisco City Hall, and of a statue of James 
Marshall, the discoverer of gold, died in 1903. 

The slight artistic impulse of a hundred years ago has grown 
strong and has extended over a vast territory. With increasing 
definiteness, as well as growing momentum, it has attained even to 
our far western limits. What was at first the mere groping of an 
untaught instinct, destitute of message or appeal, has gradually 
developed a character, a fundamental sincerity, and remarkable gifts 



SCULPTORS OF THE SOUTH AND WEST 537 

of utterance. Where once was indecision and a timid leaning on 
the past, there exists to-day a valuable nucleus of artistic conscious- 
ness. The American sculptor no longer puts himself deliberately 
out of touch with his time, but endeavors to be a part of the life 
about him. He realizes that, in order to exert an influence, his art 
must speak no alien tongue, but must follow the vernacular of his 
day and race. He must keep close to the people — close to them, but 
a little ahead, drawing them forward in appreciation step by step. 
If he recognizes the hour's peculiar problems, and if, in conjunction 
with his fellows, he expresses himself frankly and adequately, the 
national flavor will follow. 

In this bewildering period of American history, elements new, 
varied, and contradictory are pouring into the national crucible ; 
doubtless the solvent will be adequate to reduce all these to a condi- 
tion of homogeneity, but no man can say just what the ultimate 
product will be. The American character is not yet fully formed ; 
the very features are restless upon our unsettled faces. If Herbert 
Spencer is right in his prediction that the eventual mixture of the 
allied varieties of the Aryan race " will produce a finer type of 
man than has hitherto existed," and that ours is to be "a civilization 
grander than any that the world has known," we may look forward 
confidently to a remarkable artistic expression founded upon what 
has gone before, yet the logical product of new and generously favor- 
able conditions. The story of American Sculpture is but begun. 



GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Benjamin, S. G. W. Art in America. New York, 1880. 

Caffin, Charles H. American Masters of Sculpture. New York, 1903. 

Clark, William J., Jr. Great American Sculptures. Philadelphia, 1877. 

Clement and Hutton. Artists of the Nineteenth Century. Boston, 1880. 

Downes, William Howe. Twelve Great Artists. Boston, igoo. 

Dunlap, William. History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the 

United States. New York, 1834. 
Ellet, Mrs. E. F. Women Artists in All Ages and Countries. London, 1858. 
French, H. W. Art and Artists of Connecticut. Boston, 1879. 
Goodyear, W. H. Renaissance and Modern Art. New York, 1899. 
Hartmann, Sadakichi. A History of American Art. 2 vols. Boston, 1902. 
Modern American Sculpture. Plates. Edited by Sadakichi Hartmann. New 

York. 
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The French and Italian Note-books. Boston, 1858. 
Jarves, James Jackson. The Art Idea. New York, 1877. 

Art Thoughts. Boston, 1879. 

Marquand and Frothingham. A Text-book of the History of Sculpture. New York, 

1S99. 
Partridge, William Ordway. The American School of Sculpture. The Arena, Vol. 

7, p. 641. 
Radcliffe, A. G. Schools and Masters of Sculpture. New York, 1894. 
Sturgis, Russell. Sculpture. Forum, Vol. 34, p. 24S. 
Exhibition of the National Sculpture Society. The World To-day, Vol. 4, 

p. 261. 
Taft, Lorado. American Sculpture and Sculptors. The Chautauquan, Vol. 22, 

P- 387- 
Sculpture of the Nineteenth Century: American Sculpture. Progress, p. 322. 

Same in Current Encyclopaedia, p. 1061. 
Tuckerman, Henry T. Book of the Artists. New York, 1867. 
Vlardot, Louis. Wonders of Sculpture. New York, 1873. 

SPECIAL BOOKS AND ARTICLES 

Andersen. A New Sculptor, by Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer, Century, Vol. 61, p. 17. 
Ball. My Three Score Years and Ten, by Thomas Ball. Boston, 1891. 

Thomas Ball, by William Ordway Partridge, New England Magazine (N. S.), 
Vol. 12, p. 291. 

539 



540 THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SCULPTURE 

Barnard. A New American Sculptor, by William A. Coffin, Century, Vol. 31, p. 877. 
A Great American Sculptor, by L. C. Dennis, Review of Reviews, Vol. 19, p. 49. 
The Sculptor of Pan, by Regina Armstrong, Critic, Vol. 33, p. 354. 
Barnard's Pan, by Charles de Kay, Art Interchange, Vol. 41, p. 5. 
George Grey Barnard, by Regina Armstrong Hilliard, Munsey's, Vol. 20, p. 456. 
George Grey Barnard, Sculptor, by Alexander Blair Thaw, The World's Work, 
December, 1902, p. 2837. 
Bartlett. Some American Artists in Paris, by Frances Keyzer, Studio, Vol. 13, p. 246. 
The Statue of Michelangelo in the Congressional Library, Scribner's, Vol. 25, 
p. 3S1. 
Borglum. S. Borglum and His Work, by W. G. Bowdoin, Art Interchange, Vol. 46, 
p. 2. 
The Frontier in Sculpture, by Arthur Goodrich, The World's Work, Vol. 3, p. 1857. 
Browere. Unknown Life Masks of Great Americans, by Charles H. Hart, McClure's, 
Vol. 9, p. 1053. 
Life Masks of Great Americans, by Charles H. Hart, McClure's, Vol. 12, p. 337. 
Calder. Alexander Stirling Calder, by L. R. E. Paulin, House and Garden, Vol. 3, 

p. 316. 
Clarke. Thomas Shields Clarke, by Arthur Hoeber, Brush and Pencil, Vol. 6, p. 193. 
Conner. A Sculptor of the People, by Francis B. Sheafer, Booklovers Magazine, 

Vol. 1, p. 623. 
Crawford. Crawford and Sculpture, by Henry T. Tuckerman, Atlantic, Vol. 2, p. 64. 
Thomas Crawford : A Eulogy, by G. S. Hillard, Atlantic, Vol. 24, p. 40. 
Thomas Crawford (unsigned), Living Age, Vol. 56, p. 274. 
Dallin. Cyrus E. Dallin, Sculptor, by William H. Dowries, Brush and Pencil, Vol. 5, 

p. 1. Same in New England Magazine (N. S.), Vol. 21, p. 196. 
Donoghue. John Donoghue, by W. Lewis Fraser, Century, Vol. 35, p. 957. 

The Young Sophokles by Donoghue, by Charles de Kay, Art Review, Vol. 1, No. 4. 
The Career of John Donoghue, Sculptor, by J. C. McCord, Brush and Pencil, 
Vol. 12, p. 364. 
French. The Sculptor French, by William A. Coffin, Century, Vol. 37, p. 871. 

New Figures in Literature and Art, by Royal Cortissoz, Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 75, 

p. 223. 
Daniel Chester French, by Mrs. H. B. Emerson, New England Magazine, Vol. 16, 

p. 259. 
Daniel Chester French, American Sculptor, by J. P. Coughlan, Magazine of Art 

(London), Vol. 25, p. 311. 
Daniel Chester French, Sculptor, by Lorado Taft, Brush and Pencil, Vol. 5, p. 145. 
French's O'Reilly Group, by John C. Van Dyke, Century, Vol. 30, p. 158. 
Daniel French's Summer Studio, by John J. A'Becket, Art Interchange, Vol. 49, 

p. 132. 
Daniel Chester French, Sculptor (unsigned), Munsey's, Vol. 19, p. 234. 
Recent Work by Daniel Chester French, by Nelson R. Abbott, Brush and Pencil, 
Vol. 8, p. 43. 
Grafly. Charles Grafly's Work, by Victoria C. Dallin, New England Magazine (N. S.), 
Vol. 25, p. 228. 
Charles Grafly, Sculptor, by Lorado Taft, Brush and Pencil, Vol. 3, p. 343. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 541 

Grafly. Charles Grafly, Sculptor, by Helen W. Henderson, The Booklovers Maga- 
zine, Vol. 2, p. 499. 
Hart. The Old Masters of the Blue Grass, by General Samuel Woodson Price. 

Louisville, Kent